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The Missal Makers Analysis



Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 1

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To visit the Escurial

We took a motor bus,

And there a guide mercurial

                                Took charge of us.

He showed us through room after room,

And talked hour after hour,

Of place, crypt and royal tomb,

                                Of pomp and power.



But in bewilderment of grace

What pleased me most of all

Were ancient missals proud in place

                                In stately hall.

A thousand tomes there were at least,

All luminously bright,

That each a score of years some priest

                                Had toiled to write.



Poor patient monk who brushed and penned

From rise to set of sun!

And when his book came to an end,

                                His life was done.

With heart of love to God above

For guidance he would pray,

And here behold his art of gold

                                Undimmed today.



And as our homeward way we took,

The thought occurred to me -

If scribes would only write one book,

                                How good 'twould be!

Or if our authors had to scroll

Their words on vellum fair,

Their output might be very small,

                                But oh how rare!



So writers of today take note,

If you your souls would save,

Let every line be one to quote

                                And to engrave.

Then though you dismally are dead,

You will be cheered to know

your precious prose may still be read

                                -Ten years or so.






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