William Cosmo Monkhouse
True — there are books and books. There’s Gray,
For instance, and there’s Bacon;
There’s Longfellow, and Monstrelet,
And also Colton’s “ Lacon,”
With “Laws of Whist” and those • of Libel,
And Euclid, and the Mormon Bible.
And some are dear as friends, and some
We keep because we need’them;
And some we ward from worm and thumb,
And love too well to read them.
My own are poor, and mostly new,
But I’ve an Elzevir or two.
That as a gift is prized, the next
For trouble in the finding;
This Aldine for its early text,
That Plantin for the binding;
This sorry Herrick hides a flower,
The record of one perfect hour.
But whether it be worth or looks
We gently love or strongly,
Such virtue doth reside in books
We scarce can love them wrongly;
To sages an eternal school,
A hobby (harmless) to the fool.
Nor altogether fool is he
Who orders, free from doubt,
Those books which “no good library
Should ever be without,”
And blandly locks the well-glazed door
On tomes that issue never more.
Less may we scorn his cases grand,
Where safely, surely linger
Fair virgin fields of type, unscanned
And innocent of finger.
There rest, preserved from dust accurst,
The first editions — and the worst.
And least of all should we that write
With easy jest deride them
Who hope to leave when “lost to sight”
The best of us inside them,
Dear shrines! where many a scribbler’s name
Has lasted — longer than his fame.
William Cosmo Monkhouse's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (De Libris by William Cosmo Monkhouse )
- LIMERICK FRIENDS, Philo Yan
- Wine and Heart, Nassy Fesharaki
- The Sun Doth Shine, Tango Tango
- Alive, Leong Ming Loong
- Poems proclaim, Mark Heathcote
- My Battle Ground, Emily Krauss
- Whatcha Doing, Emily Krauss
- More And More Sheila And Clifford ..... .., Bri Edwards
- Ends, douglas scotney
- To Wait On A Woman, Randy McClave
Poem of the Day
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(22 March 1941 -)
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919)