Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ART OF BOOK-KEEPING, by SAMUEL LAMAN BLANCHARD



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THE ART OF BOOK-KEEPING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How hard, when those who do not wish / to lend, thus lose, their books
Last Line: "they have not left me ""sterne."
Alternate Author Name(s): Blanchard, Laman
Subject(s): Books; Reading


How hard, when those who do not wish
To lend, that's lose, their books,
Are snared by anglers -- folks that fish
With literary hooks;

Who call and take some favourite tome,
But never read it through;
They thus complete their set at home,
By making one at you.

Behold the bookshelf of a dunce
Who borrows -- never lends;
Yon work, in twenty volumes, once
Belonged to twenty friends.

New tales and novels you may shut
From view -- 'tis all in vain;
They're gone -- and though the leaves are "cut"
They never "come again."

For pamphlets lent I look around,
For tracts my tears are spilt;
But when they take a book that's bound,
'Tis surely extra guilt.

A circulating library
Is mine -- my birds are flown;
There's one odd volume left, to be
Like all the rest, a-lone.

I, of my "Spenser" quite bereft,
Last winter sore was shaken;
Of "Lamb" I've but a quarter left,
Nor could I save my "Bacon."

My "Hall" and "Hill" were levelled flat,
But "Moore" was still the cry;
And then, although I threw them "Sprat,"
They swallowed up my "Pye."

O'er everything, however slight,
They seized some airy trammel;
They snatched my "Hogg" and "Fox" one night,
And pocketed my "Campbell."

And then I saw my "Crabbe" at last,
Like Hamlet's, backward go;
And as my tide was ebbing fast,
Of course I lost my "Rowe."

I wondered into what balloon
My books their course had bent;
And yet, with all my marvelling, soon
I found my "Marvell" went.

My "Mallet" served to knock me down,
Which makes me thus a talker;
And once, while I was out of town,
My "Johnson" proved a "Walker."

While studying o'er the fire one day
My "Hobbes" amidst the smoke;
They bore my "Colman" clean away,
And carried off my "Coke."

They picked my "Locke," to me far more
Than Bramah's patent's worth;
And now my losses I deplore,
Without a "Home" on earth.

If once a book you let them lift,
Another they conceal,
For though I caught them stealing "Swift,"
As swiftly went my "Steele."

"Hope" is not now upon my shelf,
Where late he stood elated;
But, what is strange, my "Pope" himself
Is excommunicated.

My little "Suckling" in the grave
Is sunk, to swell the ravage;
And what 'twas Crusoe's fate to save
'Twas mine to lose -- a "Savage."

Even "Glover's" works I cannot put
My frozen hands upon;
Though ever since I lost my "Foote,"
My "Bunyan" has been gone

My "Hoyle" with "Cotton" went; oppressed,
My "Taylor" too must fail;
To save my "Goldsmith" from arrest,
In vain I offered "Bayle."

I "Prior," sought, but could not see
The "Hood" so late in front;
And when I turned to hunt for "Lee,"
Oh! where was my "Leigh Hunt!"

I tried to laugh, old care to tickle,
Yet could not "Tickell" touch;
And then, alas! I missed my "Mickle,"
And surely mickle's much.

'Tis quite enough my griefs to feed,
My sorrows to excuse,
To think I cannot read my "Reid,"
Nor even use my "Hughes."

To "West," to "South," I turn my head,
Exposed alike to odd jeers;
For since my "Roger Ascham's" fled,
I ask 'em for my "Rogers."

They took my "Horne" -- and "Horne Tooke" too,
And thus my treasures flit;
I feel when I would "Hazlitt" view,
The flames that it has lit.

My word's worth little, "Wordsworth" gone,
If I survive its doom;
How many a bard I doted on
Was swept off -- with my "Broome."

My classics would not quiet lie,
A thing so fondly hoped;
Like Dr. Primrose, I may cry,
"My 'Livy' has eloped!"

My life is wasting fast away --
I suffer from these shocks;
And though I fixed a lock on "Grey,"
There's grey upon my locks.

I'm far from young_-- am growing pale --
I see my "Butter" fly;
And when they ask about my ail,
'Tis "Burton" I reply.

They still have made me slight returns,
And thus my griefs divide;
For oh! they've cured me of my "Burns,"
And eased my "Akenside."

But all I think I shall not say,
Nor let my anger burn;
For as they never found me "Gay,"
They have not left me "Sterne."





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