Poem: The Best Non-Seller by "Billy Tea" (Edward Dyson)

The author's task was at an end,
   His book was fairly out;
He looked to every faithful friend
(They said he'd thousands) now to send
   It humming round about.

Days passed; his ear upon the ground
   Poor Scribe caught not the hum,
He did not see the book around,
It did not bring a single pound,
   The author's heart was glum.

Some fifty of his masterpiece
   He'd sped gratuitous
For press reviews, and to decrease
Its bulk, from which he craved release
   As from an incubus.

Time sped, and still the volumes lag
   In terraces so neat.
Then, grown quite desp'rate, on a day
He took three hundred books away,
   And set them in the street --

Three hundred books men should have prized
   Where city's vortex spun,
And on the top a royal-sized,
Red notice set he, which advised
   The public: "Please take one!"

Two days had passed, Scribe went once more
   (Still desolate his mien),
To count the offered coies o'er.
Alas! the zinc-lined case now bore
   Three hundred and fourteen!

First published in The Bulletin, 12 June 1919.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 14, 2005 10:09 AM.

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