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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Bookstall

By Clinton Scollard (1860–1932)

IT stands in a winding street,

A quiet and restful nook,

Apart from the endless beat

Of the noisy heart of Trade;

There’s never a spot more cool

Of a hot midsummer day

By the brink of a forest pool,

Or the bank of a crystal brook

In the maples’ breezy shade,

Than the bookstall old and gray.

Here are precious gems of thought

That were quarried long ago,

Some in vellum bound, and wrought

With letters and lines of gold;

Here are curious rows of “calf,”

And perchance an Elzevir;

Here are countless “mos” of chaff,

And a parchment folio,

Like leaves that are cracked with cold,

All puckered and brown and sear.

In every age and clime

Live the monarchs of the brain:

And the lords of prose and rhyme,

Years after the long last sleep

Has come to the kings of earth

And their names have passed away,

Rule on through death and birth;

And the thrones of their domain

Are found where the shades are deep,

In the bookstall old and gray.