JOHNSON, LIONEL (1867-1902)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS 'BALLAD OF THE CAXTON PRESS', signed ('Lionel Johnson'), 28 lines, in three eight- and one four-line stanzas, with one autograph revision, 1 page, octavo, with conjugate leaf, not dated
News good News! at the old year's end
Lovers of learning come buy, come buy.
Now to old Holborn let bookmen wend,
Though the town be grimy and grim the sky.
News! good News! is the Christmas cry
For one feast of reason is richly spread:
The hungry book men may treat and try
The famous Sign of the Caxton Head...
This poem was specially written to celebrate an anniversary catalogue, the 1000th, of the Caxton Head bookshop run by Tregaskis and was reproduced in it from this manuscript. Johnson was the person who introduced Alfred Douglas to Oscar Wilde. Only two other poems by Johnson have been sold at auction.
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's, 16 July 1984, lot 97; David Holmes.