Old Book forlorn, compiled of ancient thought,So who was Edgar Greenleaf Bradford?
Now bought and sold, and once more sold and bought,
At last left stranded, where in time I spied,
Borne thither by an impecunious tide;
Well thumbed, stain-marked, but new and dear to me,
My purse and thy condition well agree.
I saw thee, yearned, then took thee to my arms,
For fellowship in misery has charms.
How long, I know not, thou hadst lain unscanned,
Thy mellow leaves untouched by loving hand--
For there thou was beneath a dusty heap,
Unknown. I raised thee, therefore let me reap
A harvest from thy treasures. Thee I found--
Yea, thee I'll cherish; though new friends abound,
I'll still preserve thee as the years go round.
A forgotten poet of the late nineteenth century, it appears, though he shares an unusual middle name with a fellow poet of the same century, who "made it," the better-known John Greenleaf Whittier. Was the 19th century not big enough for two Greenleafs?
I can only find a few fragments about Edgar Greenleaf Bradford, one of which was a review of his book, Search Lights and Guide Lines, circa 1890s. The reviewer's comments on Bradford's writing style are not flattering:
"The author has rather a cumbersome vocabulary, and in his endeavors to be concise is sometimes obscure."So in this modern age of the google search, that's all that can be found about a published poet's work? Sad. But his stuffy Victorian language still gave a good account of what it feels like to find an old book to your liking.