Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bookshelf by Robert Service .



I keep collecting books I know 
I'll never, never read; 
My wife and daughter tell me so, 
And yet I never head. 
"Please make me," says some wistful tome, 
"A wee bit of yourself." 
And so I take my treasure home, 
And tuck it in a shelf. 

And now my very shelves complain; 
They jam and over-spill. 
They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?" 
"some day," I say, "I will." 
So book by book they plead and sigh; 
I pick and dip and scan; 
Then put them back, distrest that I 
Am such a busy man. 

Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne, 
my Gibbon and Defoe; 
To savour Swift I'll never learn, 
Montaigne I may not know. 
On Bacon I will never sup, 
For Shakespeare I've no time; 
Because I'm busy making up 
These jingly bits of rhyme. 

Chekov is caviare to me, 
While Stendhal makes me snore; 
Poor Proust is not my cup of tea, 
And Balzac is a bore. 
I have their books, I love their names, 
And yet alas! they head, 
With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James, 
My Roster of Unread. 

I think it would be very well 
If I commit a crime, 
And get put in a prison cell 
And not allowed to rhyme; 
Yet given all these worthy books 
According to my need, 
I now caress with loving looks, 
But never, never read.

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