Friday, March 16, 2012

Charles Williams on Librarians

From “The Masque of Perusal,” originally performed before the staff of the Oxford University Press in the Amen House library, London, February 8, 1929:

But let me bring you to the Librarian,
Who—as the song goes, through the city chanted—
Will give such information as is wanted.

On the ancient laws of Solon,
            On the mechanics and on men,
On the place of either colon,
            On the acuter abdomen,
On physic for the body and the mind
The Keeper offers help of every kind.

On the secret name of Sunday,
            On the causes of the war,
On the rise of Mrs. Grundy,
            Khalif, pope, and emperor,
And on the causes of all joy and woe,
The Keeper lets her information flow.