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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Harriette C. S. Buckham

A Book-Lover’s Apologia

TEMPTATION lurks in every leaf

Of printed page or cover,

Whene’er I haunt the book-shops old,

Their treasures rare discover;

Or when, in choicest catalogues,

Among which I’m a rover,

My heart leaps up their names to see,—

For am I not their lover?

I linger o’er each dainty page

With loving touch and tender;

But find their sweet, seductive charms

Soon call me to surrender.

Brave fight, ’twixt heart and my lean purse,

My loved books’ strong defender!

More precious for the valiant strife

That love is called to render!

But when in Bibliopolis

Their dear forms round me cluster,

While rank on rank and file on file

In gathering numbers muster,

Think you I mind the sordid tongues

That soulless talk and bluster,

Or weigh, against their priceless worth,

The golden dollar’s lustre?

Ah, no! since there are drink and food

For which the soul has longings,

And in its daily, upward strife,

Finds both in such belongings,—

Dear books! loved friends, full meet ye are

To greet the earliest dawnings

Of all the happiest days in life,

Of all its brightest mornings!