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Poems About Books

Table of Contents

  1. The New Book by Anonymous
  2. Books, Books, Books! by Anonymous
  3. Parade of Books by Anonymous
  4. The Scholar's Eden by Anonymous
  5. Picture-Books in Winter by Robert Louis Stevenson
  6. "Something In Books" by Anonymous
  7. Old Books Are Best by Beverly Chew
  8. Unto my books so good to turn by Emily Dickinson
  9. Song of the Bookmark by Ruby Archer
  10. A Curl by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  11. A Riddle by Abbie Farwell Brown

  1. The New Book

    by Anonymous

    See my dainty little girl,
    Pink and white, and hair a-curl
    At the height of happiness
    With a "spick-and-spandy" dress!
    Smoothing that way, pressing this,
    Every crinkle is a bliss,
    Every ruffle a delight,
    And the sash is heaven outright!

    Such an innocent am I
    With the latest book I buy.
    Use and thought and profltings.—
    They are secondary things.
    Now, it quite suffices me
    Just to hold it lovingly,
    Breathe its fragrance on the air,
    Test the hinding firm and fair,
    Press its cover like a friend,
    Turn its pages to the end,
    Note the type, the gilding fine,
    Write my name, and make it mine!

  2. Books, Books, Books!

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Books, books, books, books!
    Stuff that is nothing but binding and looks,
    Guessing and gossiping books of the times,
    Volumes of poetry (better named rhymes),
    Volumes of humor terribly strained,
    "Practical" books from which nothing is gained,
    Essays regilding the gold of the past,
    Books of philosophy vacantly vast,
    Volumes of science revamping the old,
    Children's books, anything that can be sold,
    Novels of incident, stagey, unreal,
    Novels of sentiment vaguely ideal,
    Novels historical, clumsy and crude,
    Novels of passion, the devil's own food,
    Counters heaped high, enough books for a town.
    "Shop-worn," "Remainders," and "Volumes Marked Down."
    "Fifty Cent Table," and "Twenty-five," "Ten,"
    "Bankrupt Stock" offered again and again,
    Books by the carload and books by the ton,
    Books that are "Having a Marvellous Run."
    Books that are "Standard" and books "By the Set."
    Volumes just published and books hard to get,
    "Five feet of books" and books by the mile,
    Volumes forbidding and books that beguile,
    Stuff that is nothing but binding and looks,—
    Books, books, books, books!

  3. Parade of Books

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I love the parade of books:
    The long, fair lines of comrades, disciplined, orderly,
    Waiting the summons to give of their best, their all;
    The varied colors blending demurely,
    The shining verticals where the light rests on them,
    The parallel shadows where each meets the other.
    I love the differing texture of cloth, the rounded backs,
    The gold of the lettering, all the thoughtful adornings,
    The elegant richness of smooth amd garnished leather.
    I love the dust that is on them, and envy its contact,
    Close, familiar, and long, through daylight and darkness,
    Resting in silence among my silent books.
    I love to sit there, and let my eyes gloat upon them,
    Caressing them with my eyes, from floor to celling,
    And over from wall to wall and beyond the doorway.
    And though the world beats upon me, and whips my spirit
    Weary from task to task, with no time for reading,
    I love to come and rest for a moment among them,
    And bathe my soul in the cloistered stillness,
    And rejoice my soul in the friendly glance of comrades,
    The loverly, quiet, reserved parade of books.

  4. The Scholar's Eden

    by Anonymous

    In the Eden I'd like to build
    There's a wealth of library nooks;
    There are thousands of shelves and all of them filled
    With an orderly display of books.
    And lest the dear number appall
    Even one most bookishly willed,
    There's wideness of leisure to read them all
    In the Eden I'd like to build.

    In the Eden I'm wanting to make
    There's a woman loving and fair.
    The world is aglow for her beautiful sake,
    Her presence blesses the air.
    Yet often there comes to me
    This thought like a hissing snake:
    Will the books and the woman perchance agree
    In the Eden I'm wanting to make?

  5. Picture-Books in Winter

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Summer fading, winter comes—
    Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
    Window robins, winter rooks,
    And the picture story-books.

    Water now is turned to stone
    Nurse and I can walk upon;
    Still we find the flowing brooks
    In the picture story-books.

    All the pretty things put by,
    Wait upon the children's eye,
    Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
    In the picture story-books.

    We may see how all things are,
    Seas and cities, near and far,
    And the flying fairies' looks,
    In the picture story-books.

    How am I to sing your praise,
    Happy chimney-corner days,
    Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
    Reading picture story-books?

  6. "Something In Books"

    by Anonymous

    "Will you have something in books to-day?"
    So the young woman prattled away,
    Using her salesman lingo free,
    Just as if books were pounds of tea.

    That is the way the business is run,
    Books by the thousand, books by the ton,
    Books by the measure of mason or cook.
    And the bigger the pile, the bigger the book.

    "Something in books?" Yes, Miss Flippancy, yes:
    Something your big store does not possess.
    Give me a hook that was horn of the heart,
    Free from the stains of the bank and the mart.

    Give me a book that is known of the trees,
    Comrade of clouds and at home with the bees;
    Give me a book I shall have as a friend,
    Daytime and nighttime, till living shall end.

    "Ye-e-s," says Miss Flippancy, doubtfully bold,
    "Here's the best seller that ever we've sold.
    Every one's reading it; going like fun,
    We'll sell a thousand before the day's done."

    "Something in books," and the business is fine;
    Let the stores carry "a popular line."
    But come, dear old books, well tested and true,
    Here's for an hour in a corner with you.

    You were never "best sellers," when put to the test,
    But you are best readers, which surely is best;
    And, though all the clerks should unite to deride,
    The "something in books" is the something inside!

  7. Old Books Are Best

    by Beverly Chew

    Old Books are best! With what delight
    Does "Faithorne fecit" greet our sight
    On frontispiece or title-page
    Of that old time, when on the stage
    "Sweet Nell" set "Rowley's" heart alight!

    And you, O Friend, to whom I write,
    Must not deny, e'en though you might,
    Through fear of modern pirates' rage,
    Old Books are best.

    What though the print be not so bright,
    The paper dark, the binding slight?
    Our author, be he dull or sage,
    Returning from that distant age
    So lives again, we say of right:
    Old Books are best.

  8. Unto my books so good to turn

    by Emily Dickinson

    Unto my books so good to turn
    Far ends of tired days;
    It half endears the abstinence,
    And pain is missed in praise.

    As flavors cheer retarded guests
    With banquetings to be,
    So spices stimulate the time
    Till my small library.

    It may be wilderness without,
    Far feet of failing men,
    But holiday excludes the night,
    And it is bells within.

    I thank these kinsmen of the shelf;
    Their countenances bland
    Enamour in prospective,
    And satisfy, obtained.

  9. Song of the Bookmark

    by Ruby Archer

    As lilies on lusk water sleep,
    Whose depths are jeweled by the skies,
    I sleep on thought serene and deep.—
    The prisoned stars are human eyes.

  10. A Curl

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    To-night, as I turned back the pages
    Of a book Time had fingered before,
    And whose leaves held the odor of ages,
    And the imprints of much usage wore,
    A little brown curl I discovered,
    That fell from the book to the floor.

    Had I sinned? Heaven grant me its pardon.
    Did a lover’s sad tear the page spot?
    Who pressed there that gem of the garden—
    The sweet flower, “forget-me-not?”
    It lay as if carved on a grave-stone,
    And all of its sweetness forgot.

    I held the curl up to the lamplight,
    And watching the gleam of its gold,
    There I heard with the rush of the midnight,
    A sad little story it told;
    But I promised the sacred old volume
    Its secret I would not unfold.

    But I would that the world knew its sorrow,
    The story I must not reveal;
    But go to your book case to-morrow.
    And each to your own heart appeal;
    And you’ll know why the tattered old volume
    The little curl tries to conceal.

  11. A Riddle

    by Abbie Farwell Brown

    It's a curious house, where people dwell,
    And wonders happen, ill or well,
    The door-plate gives the house's name,
    Likewise the builder of the same.

    You enter, if you have a key,
    And something of a scholar be.
    You ope the door, and in the hall
    A picture greets you, first of all.

    A blazoned notice next you view,
    The builder's name, the owner's too,
    The city where the house was made,
    Date when the corner-stone was laid.

    And then you find a list enrolled
    Of treasures which the house doth hold,
    That you may choose what suits your eye,
    Or if none pleases may pass them by.

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