[A Very Charming Gentleman]
A very charming gentleman, as old as old could be,
Stared a while, and glared a while, and then he said to me:
“Read your books, and heed your books, and put your books away,
For you will surely need your books upon a later day.”
And then he wheezed and then he sneezed, and gave me such a look.
And he said, “Mark — me — boy! Be careful of your book.”
A very charming gentleman, indeed, he seemed to be.
He heaved a sigh and wiped his eye, and then he said to me:
“Take your books and make your books companions — never toys;
For they who so forsake their books grow into gawky boys.”
I don’t know who he was. Do you? He snuffled at the end;
And he said, “Mark — me — boy! Your book should be your friend.”
C. J. Dennis. A Book for Kids, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, , [inside front cover]