Poem: My Book by John Drayton

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No man writes a book without meaning something, though he may not have the faculty of writing consequentially, and of expressing his meaning. - Addison

It is complete -- the magnum opus finished.
   My book is writ; its joys shall be my own --
These none shall share. Delight is undiminished
   In that I revel selfish and alone.
Each line, as written, stands for anxious thinking;
   No pencilled sign was casually made.
At times my very soul with fear was shrinking;
   Again, I'd write a line and pause dismayed.
Here should be tears -- I wrote this line in sorrow --
   Here deeper grief, for much was put at stake;
Oft have I wished each day was its to-morrow,
   Oft slept with Fear -- with Care to mate, awake.
At length the end; I wrote in desperation
   To simplify the tangle in my skein,
And finished with a powerful situation --
   Finale -- in my very happiest vein.

No linotypist's inky paws shall fumble
   The pages of MY BOOK. No printer scoff
At my poor penmanship; no reader grumble,
   And wish I had been, timely, taken off.
The sacred pages only I shall study;
   And I for Recollection's joy alone
When I would have the reds of Life more ruddy,
   And realise a pleasure shared by none.

I'll read again the writing, in the double-book I made; ten thousand was the limit, and one horse I hadn't laid (for the cognoscenti knew him, and he had no chance, they said; where the quick were under saddle, he was listed with the dead).  But he cantered home the winner of the second big event, and I motored home a "skinner" - wherewithal I am content.

First published in The Bulletin, 25 January 1917

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 8, 2011 8:25 AM.

Reprint: Books and Bookmen: Dreams in Flower was the previous entry in this blog.

2011 Western Australia Premier's Book Award Winners is the next entry in this blog.

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