Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE INCUNABULUM'S TALE, by CHARLES WILLIAM BRODRIBB



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THE INCUNABULUM'S TALE, by            
First Line: Master: tacitus in red morocco
Last Line: Sine anno, sine loco.
Subject(s): Books; England; Scholarship & Scholars; Universities & Colleges; Reading; English


MASTER: Tacitus in red morocco,
Sine anno, sine loco,
Though nor place nor date be hinted,
Thou wast very early printed;
Art Italian, if I err not,
Though the colophon aver not;
Printed surely long ago,
Ere the wandering Angelo
Found the Annals. Say what lover
Fondly conned thy pages over,
Gave thee thy resplendent cover,
Tacitus in red morocco,
Sine anno, sine loco.

BOOK: Ay, 'twas in the Middle Ages
When I fluttered first my pages,
Like a bird without a rival,
At the Humanist revival,
At the second birth of letters:
We old volumes had no betters,
We the first fruits of the press.
Me Melanchthon did possess,
And to Heidelberg he took me,
Where incurious he forsook me;
Yet by scholars long I tarried,
And a-down the Rhine stream carried
On a trekschuyt entered Holland,
Where, amid the learned Lowland,
Later did that prince of sages,
Oudendorpius, turn my pages.
Dying, to his heirs he left me
Who of my whole skin bereft me,
Cast me as a brand to burning;
But an Englishman of learning,
Merit in sad plight discerning,
Brought me safe to England over,
Gave me my resplendent cover,
Stamping on the red morocco,
Sine anno, sine loco.

MASTER: Book, though all thy fellows perish,
Thee I ever mean to cherish;
I would put thee in a college,
'Mid the tomes of earlier knowledge,
Where secure thou mightst have lodgement,
Undisturbed till day of Judgement,
Summo ustulandus foco,
Sine anno, sine loco.





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