26 March 2017


(Francis S. Saltus)

From what enchanted Eden came thy leaves 
That hide such subtle spirits of perfume?
Did eyes preadamite first see the bloom,
Luscious nepenthe of the soul that grieves? 

By thee the tired and torpid mind conceives 
Fairer than roses brightening life's gloom,
Thy protean charm can every form assume
And turn December nights to April eves.

Thy amber-tinted drops bring back to me 
Fantastic shapes of great Mongolian towers,
Emblazoned banners, and the booming gong;
I hear the sound of feast and revelry,
And smell, far sweeter than the sweetest flowers,
The kiosks of Pekin, fragrant of Oolong.

I remember once reading that poetry is essentially words put together in such a way that they are hard to forget. For many, many years I have had the last line of this sonnet my head as unforgettable. The kiosks of Pekin, fragrant of Oolong.

I'm sipping a cup now of it now. 

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