someone brought up this subject on the bibliophile list this morning and I forgot I hadn’t posted something from “the Weathercock Crows” by L.B. Romaine in a while.
“Saved by the Bell”
Full calf and quaintly tooled I stood
Upon an honored shelf
With Grandmama’s possessions rare,
‘Midst Sandwich glass and Deift;
And there I would be still, I guess,
If she had lived my hide to bless
With gentle daily sweet caress.
But people die, and I live on,
Forever, so it seems,
While poverty destroys at will
Fond memories and dreams
Of those who lived and loved a book,
And treasured it in snug, safe nook
Where no one else would think to look.
Into a carton, attic bound,
I went and generations passed;
Then to the woodshed, worthless trash — And finally, at sad long last
Into the paper drive. They threw
More than a book, but no one knew,
Till a bookworm read and found the clue.
So still my carcass is intact,
For scribbled on my pages
A diary Grandmama had found
Preserved there for the ages:
Grandfather fought with Washington,
His diary told of Arnold’s gun
And Independence fairly won.
Full calf and quaintly tooled I stand
In a National Archives air-proof case.
No longer now can human hand
Dust and caress my time-worn face.
And so it seems that money must
Alone preserve from worthless dust
Small facts that are a sacred trust.
But for the curious bookworm humble,
About whose ethics many grumble,
Obituary this might be,
And none would ever know but me!