Book Borrower

by Robert William Service

I am a mild man, you'll agree,
But red my rage is,
When folks who borrow books from me
Turn down their pages.

Or when a chap a book I lend,
And find he's loaned it
Without permission to a friend -
As if he owned it.

But worst of all I hate those crooks
(May hell-fires burn them!)
Who beg the loan of cherished books
And don't return them.

My books are tendrils of myself
No shears can sever . . .
May he who rapes one from its shelf
Be damned forever.

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