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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX. 1876–79.


Asia at Nijni-Novgorod

By Edna Dean Proctor (1829–1923)

GIVE me a melon of Khiva,

Luscious and round and yellow,—

It ’s mate for the Lord of China

Hardly so fair and mellow,—

And place on the tray beside it,

Worthy of sheikh or khan,

Peaches that grew in the gardens

Of the golden Zerefshan.

And a cup of Flowery Pekoe,—

Tea of the mandarins,—

Gathered in dewy morning,

Just when the spring begins.

Keep for the peasant and Tartar

The bowls of the dark Bohea

Plucked when the heats of summer

With rank leaves load the tree.

Ah, what ravishing flavors!

Not the wine of the Rhine,

Not of Tokay, nor the nectar

Won from the Cyprian vine,

Nor Sicily’s oranges rarest,

Nor sweetest figs of Dalmatia,

Rival the flowery Pekoe

And the spicy melons of Asia!