O fire, five drops of blood I give to thee,
Five drops for five lives,
The lives of five men.
One crimson drop I give for he who stole my book,
The shadow among shadows,
The grasping hand,
Bane of libraries.
One I give for he who hired him,
The false face of friendship,
The seeking eyes in my house,
The opening purse-strings in the dark.
One I give for he who bought it,
Stinking of trade,
Who sought wisdom with coin.
One I give for he who copied it,
For it was not his lore to share,
You erred in this illicit scroll.
And the last drop of blood I shed for myself,
For I am bereft,
Though I call fire on my enemies,
Fire cannot return my book to me.