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“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)

 

 

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