Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

To De Witt Miller - Poem by Eugene Field

Dear Miller: You and I despise
The cad who gathers books to sell 'em,
Be they but sixteen-mos in cloth
Or stately folios garbed in vellum.

But when one fellow has a prize
Another bibliophile is needing,
Why, then, a satisfactory trade
Is quite a laudable proceeding.

There's precedent in Bristol's case
The great collector--preacher-farmer;
And in the case of that divine
Who shrives the soul of P.D. Armour.

When from their sapient, saintly lips
The words of wisdom are not dropping,
They turn to trade--that is to say,
When they're not preaching they are swapping!

So to the flock it doth appear
That this a most conspicuous fact is:
That which these godly pastors do
Must surely be a proper practice.

Now, here's a pretty prize, indeed,
On which De Vinne's art is lavished;
Harkee! the bonny, dainty thing
Is simply waiting to be ravished!

And you have that for which I pine
As you should pine for this fair creature:
Come, now, suppose we make a trade--
You take this gem, and send the Beecher!

Surely, these graceful, tender songs
(In samite garb with lots of gilt on)
Are more to you than those dull tome?
Her pastor gave to Lizzie Tilton!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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