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Poem by Andrew Lang
Ballade of the Bookworm
Far in the Past I peer, and see A Child upon the Nursery floor, A Child with books upon his knee, Who asks, like Oliver, for more! The number of his years is IV, And yet in Letters hath he skill, How deep he dives in Fairy-lore! The Books I loved, I love them still! One gift the Fairies gave me: (Three They commonly bestowed of yore) The Love of Books, the Golden Key That opens the Enchanted Door; Behind it BLUEBEARD lurks, and o'er And o'er doth JACK his Giants kill, And there is all ALADDIN'S store, - The Books I loved, I love them still! Take all, but leave my Books to me! These heavy creels of old we bore We fill not now, nor wander free, Nor wear the heart that once we wore; Not now each River seems to pour His waters from the Muses' hill; Though something's gone from stream and shore, The Books I loved, I love them still! ENVOY. Fate, that art Queen by shore and sea, We bow submissive to thy will, Ah grant, by some benign decree, The Books I loved--to love them still.
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