light pencil-drawn grid with characters in each space, with some empty spaces in leftmost two rows; two red seals, LLQ

Lu Tong's Tea Song, first half 19th century

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This is a rendering of the famous Song of Tea that the Chinese poet Lu Tong (790–835) composed to share his sensation about tea.

“Thanking Imperial Advisor Meng for the Fresh Tea He Has Sent Me”
The sun seemed fifteen feet above me, and I had fallen asleep
When an army officer knocked at the door, waking this Duke of Chou.
He tells me the Advisor has sent me a letter
On white silk with slanting fold and three official seals.
I open the missive—it is as if the Advisor and I are face to face—
And inspect by hand the Moon Brick tea, three hundred pieces of it.
I have heard that early in the year, if one goes up in the mountains,
Hibernating creatures are beginning to move and spring winds are starting to blow.
The Son of Heaven, desiring men to taste fine Yangxian tea,
All other plants never dare to blossom first.
A gentle breeze secretly forms buds like pearls;
Before spring actually arrives, they put forth sprouts of yellow gold.
The fresh plants are gathered, the fragrant tea is fire-dried and pressed into bricks,
The very best, the most exquisite—no empty luxury.
Aside from the Most Honored, it is suitable for princes and dukes;
So how is it that now it has arrived at the home of a mountain man'
My bramble gate closed tight against vulgar visitors,
Wearing a cap of gauze, by myself I boil and taste the tea.
The blue smoke cloud, drawn by the wind, remains unbroken;
A white froth—floating luster—congeals in the bowl.
With bowl number one, my throat and lips are moistened;
With bowl number two, my lonely sadness is dispelled.
Bowl number three cleans out my withered bowels,
Leaving only five thousand volumes inside!
With bowl number four, I raise a light sweat
And all the worrisome affairs of my entire life evaporate through the pores.
With bowl number five, my skin and bones are purified;
With bowl number six, I commune with immortal spirits.
Bowl number seven I can barely get down;
I only feel pure wind blowing, swishing beneath my arms!
The mountains of the Penglai paradise, whe

Lu Tong's Tea Song
Artist Life
1777 - 1843
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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light pencil-drawn grid with characters in each space, with some empty spaces in leftmost two rows; two red seals, LLQ