Shackled to deadlines or deep in the stacks,
The patron of editors, writers and hacks,
And all the good work that their labour entails,
Is the Genovese bishop, Saint Francis de Sales.
Convivial, mystical, pious and skint,
God’s love was the liquor he poured into print;
In the Great Reformation he did rather much
(While colleagues were fumbling with matches and such),
Chiding the wayward that goodness is nigh,
Not fanning the flames when the stakes were so high.
Yet, reviewers of tomes long since hidden away,
Forlorn and forgotten – to whom should they pray,
Labouring long in their garrets by dint
Of love and grim effort, that books out-of-print
Might rise from their shelves and themselves be again
A renewed source of wonder and wisdom to men?
The answer, of course, may surprise and enthral
For Our Lord is their patron, the highest of all;
The great gift of Life!
Undeserved and unbought!
What He gave to Lazarus, they give to Thought.
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