Books and Bookmen, by Andrew Lang

The Rowfant Books


The Rowfant books, how fair they shew,

The Quarto quaint, the Aldine tall,

Print, autograph, portfolio!

Back from the outer air they call,

The athletes from the Tennis ball,

This Rhymer from his rod and hooks,

Would I could sing them one and all,

The Rowfant books!

The Rowfant books! In sun and snow

They’re dear, but most when tempests fall;

The folio towers above the row

As once, o’er minor prophets — Saul!

What jolly jest books and what small

“Dear dumpy Twelves” to fill the nooks.

You do not find on every stall

The Rowfant books!

The Rowfant books! These long ago

Were chained within some College hall;

These manuscripts retain the glow

Of many a coloured capital

While yet the Satires keep their gall,

While the Pastissier puzzles cooks,

Theirs is a joy that does not pall,

The Rowfant books!


The Rowfant books — ah magical

As famed Armida’s “golden looks,”

They hold the rhymer for their thrall,

The Rowfant books.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:57