On the Launch of Cathay au Lait

Le Jardin Chinoise  (detail) by François Boucher

Le Jardin Chinoise (detail) by François Boucher

A Shakespearean Sonnet
By Evan Mantyk

Flush flowers: roses, lilies, orchids on
The flowing fabric patterned delicate,
Its wearer casts her knowing gaze upon
The tea from which rich fragrance does emit,

Then lifts her crystal eyes with subtlety,
Suggesting that you join these splendid folk:
In dress as much in mind nobility,
Like figures whom grand tales have often spoke.

She calls you there to join their teatime spot:
A leafy outlook over rolling hills—
That view! Familiar yet you know it not,
A mem’ry hidden by her dress’s frills.

She turns and pours something into your tea,
Says “Cathay au lait,” and motions to the sea.


Evan Mantyk is President of the Society of Classical Poets (www.Classicalpoets.org) and a teacher of history and literature.