The Happy Printer

A poem by Henry Austin Dobson

"Hoc est vivere."--MARTIAL.


The Printer's is a happy lot:
Alone of all professions,
No fateful smudges ever blot
His earliest "impressions."

The outgrowth of his youthful ken
No cold obstruction fetters;
He quickly learns the "types" of men,
And all the world of "letters."

With "forms" he scorns to compromise;
For him no "rule" has terrors;
The "slips" he makes he can "revise"--
They are but "printers' errors."

From doubtful questions of the "Press"
He wisely holds aloof;
In all polemics, more or less,
His argument is "proof."

Save in their "case," with High and Low,
Small need has he to grapple!
Without dissent he still can go
To his accustomed "Chapel,"[1]

From ills that others scape or shirk,
He rarely fails to rally;
For him, his most "composing" work
Is labour of the "galley."

Though ways be foul, and days are dim,
He makes no lamentation;
The primal "fount" of woe to him
Is--want of occupation:

And when, at last, Time finds him grey
With over-close attention,
He solves the problem of the day,
And gets an Old Age pension.

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