national poetry month, day 17.

Traditional rhymes about book ownership, from I Saw Esau, illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

Book Protection
Steal not this book for fear of shame,
For in it is the owner’s name;
And if this book you chance to borrow,
Return it promptly on the morrow.
Or when you die the Lord will say,
Where’s that book you stole away?
And if you say you do not know,
The Lord will answer, Go below!
If this book should chance to roam–
Box its ears and send it home.
Do not steal this book, my lad,
     For lots of money it cost my dad;
And if he finds you, he will say,
     “Go to Boston jail today!”
This book is one thing,
My fist is another;
Steal not the one
For fear of the other.
Who folds a leaf down,
The devil toast brown;
Who makes mark or blot,
The devil toast hot;
Who steals this book
The devil shall cook.

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