14 February 2008 | Vol. 7, No. 4

Camomile Tea

Outside the sky is light with stars;

There's a hollow roaring from the sea.

And, alas! for the little almond flowers,

The wind is shaking the almond tree.

How little I thought, a year ago,

In the horrible cottage upon the Lee

That he and I should be sitting so

And sipping a cup of camomile tea.

Light as feathers the witches fly,

The horn of the moon is plain to see;

By a firefly under a jonquil flower

A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.

We might be fifty, we might be five,

So snug, so compact, so wise are we!

Under the kitchen-table leg

My knee is pressing against his knee.

Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,

The tap is dripping peacefully;

The saucepan shadows on the wall

Are black and round and plain to see.

About the author:

1888-1923. Katherine Mansfield was born in New Zealand. She is widely considered a master of the short story, best known for the collections Bliss and The Garden Party. Although rich in content, her stories often hang from simple forms; they often explore quiet moments of decision and change. She died at 35 from tuberculosis. Learn more about Katherine Mansfield at Wikipedia.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Katherine Mansfield at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "Camomile Tea" ran on February 14, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, rhyme.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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