Tea Girl's Lament

25 01 2009
 Traditionally, the best tea was picked by young girls in the very early morning. John Blofeld writes:

The ideal time of day for picking is during the hours before sunrise, when the natural fragrance is at its height. The tea girls have to leave their warm beds at two or three in the morning and brave the chill mountain winds, to say nothing of risking encounters with poisonous snakes and insects; so they sing as they climb, to keep up their spirits. That their simple pleasant songs are not without charm can be judged from the following lament of a girl roused from sleep in the cold wee hours:

 

 

Early in the night,

I dreamt of being married

–Oh, how kind my lover,

Oh how much we loved,

Clinging to each other!

Suddenly awakened,

My spirit in a tizz,

I found my dream love gone!

Searching through my dreams,

I ordered that young man

By all means to await me

In my dreams to come.

 John Blofeld © 1985

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