Friday, November 15, 2013


In the British Museum Reading Room

Owen Barfield (1898-1997), "On Reading an Elizabethan Lyric in the British Museum Reading Room," in The Mercury Book of Verse. Being a Selection of Poems published in The London Mercury, 1919-1930 (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1931), p. 31:
This is the fifty millionth year—
   The world is old—how old it seems!
Young literary gents flock here
   To feed on piles of dead men's dreams:

Bulging with dead men's thoughts, the air
   Hangs underneath the dome how still!
And girls with long and lovely hair
   Around them read John Stuart Mill.

God, for a doublet and a swishing cloak,
A pretty bodkin, and a lightning stroke,
A green bank, and some ladies not too wise
To listen while I raved about their eyes!

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