The Lady of the Library This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 17, 2012
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
The Lady of the Library,
The keeper of the texts,
The watcher of the oaken shelves
One day was sorely vexed.

The pilgrims to her vast domain
Her rules they did ignore:
They sat upon the shelving racks,
Left books upon the floor.

They dropped large crumbs from
open mouths
And chatted without end.
They drew on tables, chairs, and books
And mag'zines they did bend.

They froze up the computer screens,
And chairs they left awry.
They put books out of order as
On shelves they passed them by.

But all of this the Lady took
Until she felt a stroke
That cut her to her very heart:
Her due date stamp was broken.

The Lady, she was bothered then
With patience all gone sour.
She snapped “Four o'clock. It's time to go!”
As came and passed the hour.

Those miscreants paid her no heed
But blabbed along the same,
'Til finally the Lady called
Each rascal by his name.

She gave each one a simple task
To recompense for wrong,
For all the havoc they had caused
Upon that afternoon long.

A single question 'twas she asked
Though stakes played for were high!
The students had no glimpse of hope;
All they could do was try.

The Lady of the Library
Made of them a demand,
Gave them a minute research too
With only that on hand.

“How well you know the library,”
She told them, “now we'll see.
Tell me the name of the last book
Of Dante's Comedy.”

So off they went amidst the walls
Where words sat on the wood,
To seek the key to save their fate
If find it, each one could.

Three of the four ran here and there
With hopes that luck would smile
Amongst the lab'rynth of the books
As searched they, all the while.

The fourth knew the library well
Of Dewey and his rule.
He knew the path to hidden gems
And where to find the jewel.
He quickly ran to eight-five-one;
The treasure that he sought
Was there upon the wooden rack.
Then vic'try was his lot.

Quick double-check of title there,
And when all had returned
The Lady of the Library
He told what he had learned.

“The name I sought I found back there:
Dante's ‘Paradiso.'
My quest I have completed now.
Please, will you let me go?”

“Go now from my dominion,”said
The Lady to the lad,
And down the stairs he ran away
And quietly was glad.

The Lady turned upon the ones
Whose answer was silence
And said “No good. And now you must
Serve me this next year hence.”

Those pen'tent souls were bound to serve
Inside of those four walls,
To give a seventh of each day
Within the inky halls.

Remember well the story of
The price that they have paid,
And don't make trouble, or you'll join
Those ones as Office Aide!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

apinkwildrose said...
Apr. 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm
What writer wouldn't love this! the library is sacred grounds to all of us!
Binte This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 24, 2013 at 5:52 am
haha i love this. the rhymings great, and unique topic :)
Night_Shade203 said...
Aug. 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm
Awesome! I love this piece. Very clever with a nice rythm. I volunteered at the library this summer and it definitely brought some people to mind. Nice work! 
Site Feedback