“The Mighty Minds of Old”

One of my favorite poems about books was my “poem of the week” last week.

Robert Southey (1774-1843)

“His Books”

My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where’er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old:
My never failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.


With them I take delight in weal
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew’d
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.


My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears;
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with a humble mind.


My hopes are with the Dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all Futurity;
Yet, leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.


– From The Oxford Book of English Verse (#569)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *