Camomile Tea: Katherine Mansfield!

katherine_mansfield NPG P1009; Katherine Mansfield by John Herbert Folker

(l) Katherine Mansfield, Menton, France. 1921. Ref: PAColl-6826-1-15-1. Source: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand Website:

(r) Katherine Mansfield, by John Herbert Folker, 1917 – NPG P1009 – © National Portrait Gallery

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.

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