You are growing convalescent
As pain's fingers are withdrawn;
And you waken in a strange, white room at last;
Yet your thought is aught but pleasant
In the cold, grey winter dawn,
As you realise a weakness not yet past.
Then a little sound comes creeping
From some distant inner shrine,
And you bid farewell to sleeping
At that trebly welcome sign.
'Tis the tink-clink-tinkle of a teacup,
From morbid thought imagination stirs;
And with sharp anticipation you await the glad libation --
The draught of draughts the thrsrting tongue prefers.
And you listen for that soul-uplifting gurgle,
As from the precious pot you hear them pour
The golden brew you're craving . . . Then a weak, white hand is waving
To the white capped Sister smiling at the door.
More than all that Juno's daughter
Bore to tables of the great,
Sweeter far than all Olympian Hippocrene,
More than all man's heady water
Is the nectar you await,
Now to nibble bred-and-butter in between.
Say, can this be stuff man gobbles
Listlessly some afternoon?
Or, to sound of bells and bobbles,
Underneath a bright bush moon?
Hear that tink-clink-tinkle of the teacup,
And the rattle of the spoon against the cup.
Was cup-bearer ever sweeter? Then you meekly smile to greet her
And most valiantly struggle to sit up.
So, having quaffed, your head sinks to the pillow,
And you know contentment, lately past belief,
As, your heavy eyelids closing, once again you fall to dozing
While you bless all China and the precious leaf.
First published in The Herald, 28 August 1934