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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pictorial Tea Tour ............. EDMUND WALLER (c.1663)



Edmund Waller
The National Portrait Gallery, London

In contrast to Elizabeth I, who breakfased each day on bread, meat, and a gallon of ale, Queen Catherine [of Braganza] was soon known as a tea-drinking queen - England's first.

In 1663 the poet and politician Edmund Waller wrote a poem in honor of Queen Catherine for her birthday:

Venus her Myrtle, Phoebus has his bays;
Tea both excels, which she vouchsafes to praise.
The best of Queens, the best of herbs, we owe
To that bold nation which the way did show
To the fair region where the sun doth rise,
Whose rich productions we so justly prize.
The Muse's friend, tea does our fancy aid,
Regress those vapors which the head invade,
And keep the palace of the soul serene,
Fit on her birthday to salute the Queen.



(Purchase the Edmund Waller print here)

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