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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (December 1, 1933)

Tea in the Old Times

Tea in the Old Times.

The kettle was of iron, and the teapot was of tin;
From long contact with the embers, both had cheeks as black as sin;
But oh, the guests were welcome! They had ridden rugged miles,
Just to find the dancing firelight, and the hospitable smiles.
Lead the horses to the stable; let them have a bit of feed;
They are blown from that last hill-track, and a spell is what they need.
Now draw up the battered arm-chairs; send the children out to play—
They must not hear the gossiping that we shall do to-day!
But they've plenty to amuse them; they can ride and hunt and swim;
Let them picnic on koninis, in the gullies deep and dim.
Let them take old Rover with them; where that dog is, there's no fear;
He will guard the kids from danger, should they meet a charging steer.
Pass your cup!—A little stronger?—You must try our morning's cream!
That new cow, although a kicker, as a milker is a dream.
Have you heard why Smithson sold her?—so the jolly gossip goes,
Till the setting sun is tinting all the tops with tender rose.
Then once more the big tin teapot; some one then is urged to sing;
“Rolling Home to Merry England” has a chorus with a swing.
They were just plain men and women;
Most were poor—a few were “bad,”
But their courage and their kindness
Make their great-grandchildren glad.