No HEBREW root so well can suit ;
More quickly taught, less dearly bought.
Yet studied twice a day.
This leaf, from distant regions sprung,
Puts life into the female tongue.
And aids the cause of love.
Phillip Freneau

Cruciform character;  flowering daughter of orient Wisdom’s delight

A hymn to thee, beloved bush and Tree of Life, I raise.

May thy plucked leaves forevermore renew their gracious budding

Even as thy captured progeny produce, in death, thy praise

Like captive Hebrew exiles driven far from Zion’s hill

Loving still their Judge and punisher, recalling golden days…

In this cup of glorious elixir, infusing life with cheer

Asia’s attributes unveil, while I upon her marvels gaze.

Serenity enfolding, I forget all those before

In a rapturous caress I swiftly yield to her embraces

Nevermore to recall the vulgar bean of Abyssinian lore

Ethiopian witch and desert hag, dark seed of nomadic races!

Now I hail the truth, whose leaf I love: L’chaim to the brew I adore

So sit with me and sip some cha. Let us kiss her myriad faces.

I scribe these lines in gratitude to that plant who soothes and inspires

Sweet Camellia, my love…  I read in the leaves your ascending triumphant traces.

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