Poem: In a Library
In a Library
A precious, mouldering pleasure 'tis To meet an antique book, In just the dress his century wore; A privilege, I think, His venerable hand to take, And warming in our own, A passage back, or two, to make To times when he was young. His quaint opinions to inspect, His knowledge to unfold On what concerns our mutual mind, The literature of old; What interested scholars most, What competitions ran When Plato was a certainty. And Sophocles a man; When Sappho was a living girl, And Beatrice wore The gown that Dante deified. Facts, centuries before, He traverses familiar, As one should come to town And tell you all your dreams were true; He lived where dreams were sown. His presence is enchantment, You beg him not to go; Old volumes shake their vellum heads And tantalize, just so.