Cacoethes Scribendi

Original Text: 
The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, ed. H. E. S. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1895): 300-01. PS 1955 A1 1895 Robarts Library.
1If all the trees in all the woods were men;
2And each and every blade of grass a pen;
3If every leaf on every shrub and tree
5Were changed to ink, and all earth's living tribes
6Had nothing else to do but act as scribes,
7And for ten thousand ages, day and night,
8The human race should write, and write, and write,
9Till all the pens and paper were used up,
10And the huge inkstand was an empty cup,
11Still would the scribblers clustered round its brink
12Call for more pens, more paper, and more ink.


4] foolscap: long folio writing paper, often with a "fool's cap" watermark. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.