Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A GRACE BEFORE READING, by HELEN COALE CREW

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A GRACE BEFORE READING, by            
First Line: Myriad-leaved as an elm
Last Line: Thy labor, leaving man and time to make the book!
Subject(s): Literature

Myriad-leaved as an elm;
Starred with shining word and phrase;
Wondrous words that overwhelm,
Phrases vivid, swift, divine;
Gracious turn of verse and line --
O God, all praise
For a book; its tears, its wit,
Its faults, and the perfect joy of it!

Oh, to dip
Headlong in! Cleaving down
Through lucent depths of verb and noun
To the rare thought that lies
Embedded; and arise
Pearl-laden toward the skies,
Blowing bright foam of adjectives about one's lip!

Sappho -- burning heart of her;
Sweet Saint Francis, star-besprent;
Young Kit Marlowe, sped and spent;
Montaigne, royal gossiper;
Brave Munchausen, dauntless liar;
Lamb's dear whimsey; Shelley's flight;
Hot Catullus all afire;
Shakespeare, chiefest heart's delight!

O God, all praise!
That in brief, swift days
Thou mad'st the world's green gardens, and forsook
Thy labor, leaving man and time to make the book!

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