Behold the book with sepia leaves,
Bound cover thick with dust of ages.
Inside, whatever one believes
Can be deciphered on its pages.
A magic tome of laws and rules,
Of ancient wisdom, scorn and solace,
A window for myopic fools,
A window too for earnest scholars.
Ornate with gold and ruby script,
Embellished loud with gothic writing,
Vellum leaves not lightly flipped,
Each page defending and indicting.
The student comes with hopeful heart
In search of loopholes wide and yawning,
Indexed brightly at the start,
Though laced with danger and with warning.
And wondrous words will fill the senses
If that student opts to linger.
He’ll find the gaps in sturdy fences,
Tracing words with trembling finger.
The Keepers of this worldly tome,
Cow’ring now, too often bitten,
Announce that they will need to comb
Its pages ‘ere it is rewritten.
And hard-pressed scribes in dead of night
Will wrestle with those ancient pages,
And by unholy candlelight
Will seek to right the wrongs of ages.