Henry Austin Dobson

18 January 1840 – 2 September 1921 / Plymouth

The Last Proof

An Epilogue To Any Book

'FINIS at last--the end, the End, the END!
No more of paragraphs to prune or mend;
No more blue pencil, with its ruthless line,
To blot the phrase 'particularly fine';
No more of 'slips,' and 'galleys,' and 'revises,'
Of words 'transmogrified,' and 'wild surmises';
No more of _n_'s that masquerade as _u_'s,
No nice perplexities of _p_'s and _q_'s;
No more mishaps of _ante_ and of _post_,
That most mislead when they should help the most;
No more of 'friend' as 'fiend,' and 'warm' as 'worm';
No more negations where we would affirm;
No more of those mysterious freaks of fate
That make us bless when we should execrate;
No more of those last blunders that remain
Where we no more can set them right again;

No more apologies for doubtful data;
No more fresh facts that figure as Errata;
No more, in short, O TYPE, of wayward lore
From thy most _un_-Pierian fount--NO MORE!'

So spoke PAPYRIUS. Yet his hand meanwhile
Went vaguely seeking for the vacant file,
Late stored with long array of notes, but now
Bare-wired and barren as a leafless bough;--
And even as he spoke, his mind began
Again to scheme, to purpose and to plan.

There is no end to Labour 'neath the sun;
There is no end of labouring--but One;
And though we 'twitch (or not) our Mantle blue,'
'To-morrow to fresh Woods, and Pastures new.'
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