O to glory in something both ancient and beautiful;
To take in hand a tool wrought by craftsmen long dead,
Polished by hands long returned to dust!
What joy is this to shake the pall of neglect
From a thing, and put it to simple use?
Seems right with the broad world to put
To its proper purpose, to fulfill its humble aim.
Orange and black as a tiger lily, with a nib of gold,
Worn by the use and disuse of four score years,
Restored by loving hands.
A common pen, for nothing more than
Laying ink upon paper.
As if time had but skipped from then 'til now,
A line flows forth with perfect dark wetness.
Long since passed by her modern sisters
Made en masse, better but worse.
A genocide at the tip of a ball-point.
Which sad day did the drawer close,
Casting darkness and neglect in equal measure?
When did the march of progress double-quick
Past this grizzled veteran?
Once sold as chattel to the highest bidder,
Now cherished as tool and symbol
Stringing letters into words.
What great hero or mean man
Marked his days with this pen?
Shall something good and noble now
Flow from it into a transformed world?