Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A BLACK-LETTER STORY-BOOK, by PATRICK REGINALD CHALMERS



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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A BLACK-LETTER STORY-BOOK, by            
First Line: In dingy binding dark with time
Last Line: In brimming flagons!
Subject(s): Books; Time; Reading


IN dingy binding dark with time
And stately centuries of grime,
An offspring of that early prime
When first Ambition
Set up, of minstrel's tale and rhyme,
A print edition—

This, the old volume that you'll find
Dozing on upper shelves, resigned
To modern manners, and the mind
That seldom heeds it
(Save as a marketable find)
And never reads it.

So dull it looks by tales to-day,
For here no artist's paints portray
In elfin fancy, gnome or fay,
Nor pencil stages
His light conceptions of the way
Across its pages.

Its day was earlier far, you see,
Than these—proved comrades though they be—
Who fill a fire-lit "after tea"
From well-loved chalice,
With fairy, giant, and jinnee,
With Rip and Alice.

Yet if you plod and persevere
Along its leaded lines austere,
As an adventurer in drear,
Dark wildernesses,
You'll learn to love the spelling queer,
The antic esses.

And find therein a promised land,
Where friends of a robuster brand,
Monks, archers, and a jolly band
Of knights and dragons,
Will toast your advent to their strand
In brimming flagons!





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