Monday, 15 August 2016

Poetry Revisited: To A Lady Who Said It Was Sinful to Read Novels by Christian Milne

To A Lady Who Said It Was Sinful to Read Novels

(from Simple Poems on Simple Subjects: 1805)

To love these books, and harmless tea,
Has always been my foible,
Yet will I ne’er forgetful be
To read my Psalms and Bible.

Travels I like, and history too,
Or entertaining fiction;
Novels and plays I’d have a few,
If sense and proper diction.

I love a natural harmless song,
But I cannot sing like Handel;
Deprived of such resource, the tongue
Is sure employed — in scandal.

Christian Milne (1773-1816)
Scottish poet


  1. Great! I think I read novels because I was chided for always having my "nose in a book" as a kid, ergo it was sinful. Never have been able to stop. Also, my first recording of songs I had written I called "Simple Songs for a Complex Age." Had never heard of Christian Milne back then. It was 1999.

    1. I reckon that today Christian Milne would write his poem about the internet ;-).


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