More Book Poems from the 1900’s

Mar 22

I loved these poems so much, I wanted to share more.

Ode to Forgotten Authors

What though your humble names are never heard
In these ungracious days,
Yet by your words were many bosoms stirred
What time you piped your lays!
Then, your quaint prose or long-forgotten verse
Some student, it might be,
Would to his comrades lovingly rehearse,
So long ago, ah, me!
Among you may be some who in their time
Swayed many a heart, I trow;
Not to have read you almost seemed a crime
To those who prized you so!
Your names were once upon the lips of men,
Your volumes by their side;
They praised those prosings of your fluent pen
We “moderns” should deride!
And others of you who in numbers chose
To ease their teeming brain,
For some had all the sweetness of the rose,
The music of the rain.
Your books were read by many a crystal rill,
In sweet Julys long dead,
Or gladly conned when winter nights were chill,
And cheery fires burnt red.
And now your works are overlaid with dust,
They share oblivion’s night;
Till in the same box some hand by chance is thrust,
And drags one to the light!
The page for centuries closed we turn once more
Then, smiling, go our way,
Harder to please than in the days of yore—
Well, well, you had your day.1

 

Old Friends, Old Books

Old friends, old books are surely best,
Already long they’ve stood the test,
In times of stress or indolence
Have ministered to soul and sense,
With grace responsive to each quest.
Aye, every whim by us possest
When winds blow east or winds blow west,
They kindly humor—not incense—
Old friends, old books!
The new may touch with keener zest
When we with ennui are opprest
But only briefly; turning thence,
With reawakened confidence,
We seek—for peace, for joy, for rest—
Old friends, old books!2

 

Ere Lamplight Dawneth

When do I love you most, sweet books of mine?
In strenuous morns when o’er your leaves I pore,
Austerely bent to win austerest lore,
Forgetting how the dewy meadows shine;
Or afternoons when honeysuckles twine
About the seat, and to some dreary shore
Of old Romance, where lovers evermore
Keep blissful hours, I follow at your sign?
Yea! ye are precious then, but most to me
Ere lamplight dawneth, when low croons the fire
To whispering twilight in my little room.
And eyes read not, but sitting silently
I feel your great hearts throbbing deep inquire,
And hear you breathing round me in the gloom.3

And since these were so lovely, if you want to read more wonderful book-related poems from the early 1900’s you can visit the Book Poem Project.

  1. Title: Ode to Forgotten Authors, Author: F.B. Doveton, in: The Book Lover: A Magazine of Book Lore, Month of Publication: March-Apr, Year of Publication: 1903 []
  2. Title: Old Friends, Old Books, Author: Charles R. Williams, in: The Book Lover: A Magazine of Book Lore, Month of Publication: Nov-Dec, Year of Publication: 1902 []
  3. Title: Ere Lamplight Dawneth,  Author: Richard Le Gallienne, in: The Book Lover: A Magazine of Book Lore, Month of Publication: Aug,  Year of Publication: 1899 []

One comment

  1. Simply lovely! How fun! Poems about books!

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