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Books Vs. "Books"
by [?]


A VOLUME’S just received on vellum print.
The book is worth the vellum-no more in’t.
But, as I search my head for thoughts, I find
One fact embedded firmly in my mind.

That’s this, in short: while it no doubt may be
Most pleasant for an author small to see
A fine edition of his work put out,
No man who’s sane can ever really doubt

That products of his brain and pen can live
Alone for that which they may haply give!
And though on vellum stiff the work appears,
It cannot live throughout the after-years,

Unless it has within its leaves some hint
Of something further than the style of print
And paper-give me Omar on mere waste,
I’ll choose it rather than some “bookish taste,”

Expended on a flimsy, whimsey tale,
Put out to catch a whimsey, flimsy sale.
I’d choose my Omar print on grocer’s wraps
Before the vellum books of “bookish” chaps.