« ElőzőTovább »
They breathe but in thy breath, their minds are passive unto thine,
Thou turnest the key of their love, bending their affections to tny pur-
pose, And all, in sympathy with thee, tremble with tumultuous emotions. Verily, O man, with truth for thy theme, eloquence shall throne thee with
One drachma for a good book, and a thousand talents for a true friend :-
So standeth the market where scarce is ever costly:
Yea, were the diamonds of Golconda common as shingles on the shore,
A ripe apple would ransom kings before a shining stone:
And so, were a wholesome book as rare as an honest friend,
To choose the book be mine: the friend let another take.
For altered looks and jealousies and fears have none entrance there:
The silent volume listeneth well, and speaketh when thou listest:
It praiseth thy good without envy, it chideth thine evil without malice,
It is to thee thy waiting slave, and thine unbending teacher.
Need to humor no caprice, need to bear with no infirmity,
Thy sin, thy slander, or neglect, chilleth not, quencheth not, its love;
Unalterably speaketh it the truth, warped nor by error not interest;
For a good book is the best of friends, the same to-day and for ever.
To draw thee out of self, thy petty plans and cautions,
To teach thee what thou lackest, to tell thee how largely thou art blest,
To lure thy thought from sorrow, to feed thy famished mind,
To graft another's wisdom on thee, pruning thine own folly,
Choose discreetly, and well digest the volume most suited to thy case,
Touching not religion with levity, nor deep things when thou art wearied
Thy mind is freshened by morning air, grapple with science and
Noon hath unnarved thy thoughts, dream for a while on fictions ;
Gray evening sobereth thy spirit, walk thou then with worshippers;
But reason shall dig deepest in the night, and fancy fly most free.
O books, ye monuments of mind, concrete wisdom of the wisest;
Sweet solaces of daily life; proofs and results of immortality;
Trees yielding all fruits, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations,
Groves of knowledge, where all may eat, nor fear a flaming sword;
Gentle comrades, kind advisers; friends, comforts, treasures:
Helps, governments, diversities of tongues; who can weigh your worth ?-
To walk no longer with the just; to be driven from the porch of science;
To bid long adieu to those intimate ones, poets, philosophers, and teachers;
To see no record of the sympathies which bind thee in communion with
To be thrust from the feet of Him, who spake as never man spake ;
To have no avenue to heaven but the dim aisle of superstition ;
To live as an Esquimaux, in lethargy; to die as the Mohawk, in
ignorance: O what were life, but a blank? what were death, but a terror ? What were man, but a burden to himself? what were mind, but misery? Yea, let another Omar burn the full library of knowiedge, (22) And the broad world may perish in the flames, offered on the ashes of its
pen of a ready writer, whereunto shall it be likened ? Ask of the scholar, he shall know,—to the chains that bind a Proteus: Ask of the poet, he shall say,—to the sun, the lamp of heaven ; Ask of thy neighbour, he can answer, to the friend that telleth my
thought : The merchant considereth it well, as a ship freighted with wares; The divine holdeth it a miracle, giving utterance to the dumb. It fixeth, expoundeth, and disseminateth sentiment; Chaining up a thought, clearing it of mystery, and sending it bright into
the world. To think rightly, is of knowledge; to speak fluently, is of nature; To read with profit, is of care; but to write aptly, is of practice. No talent among men hath more scholars and fewer masters : For to write is to speak beyond hearing, and none stand by to explain. | To be accurate, write ; to remember, write; to know thine own mind,
write : And a written prayer is a prayer of faith ; special, sure, and to be
answered. Hast thou a thought upon thy brain, catch it while thou canst; Dr other thoughts shall settle there, and this shall soon take wing: Thine uncompounded unity of soul, which argueth and maketh it
immortal, Yieldeth up its momentary self to every single thought; Therefore, to husband thine ideas, and give them stability and substance, Write often for thy secret eye : so shalt thou grow wiser. The commonest mind is full of thoughts; some worthy of the rarest; And could it see them fairly writ, would wonder at its wealth.
O precious compensation to the dumb, to write his wants and wishes:
O dear amends to the stammering tongue, to pen his burning thoughts!
To be of the college of Eloquence, through these silent symbols;
To pour out all the flowing mind without the toil of speech;
To show the babbling world how it might discourse more sweetly;
To prove that merchandize of words bringeth no monopoly of wisdom ,
To take sweet vengeance on a prating crew, for the tongue's dishonour,
By the large triumph of the pen, the homage rendered to a writing.
With such, that telegraph of mind is dearer than wealth or wisdom,
Enabling to please without pain, to impart without humiliation.
Fair girl, whose eye hath caught the rustic penmanship of love,
Let thy bright brow and blushing cheek confess in this sweet hour,-
Let thy full heart, poor guilty one, whom the scroll of pardon hath just
Thy wet glad face, O mother, with news of a far-off child, -
Thy strong and manly delight, pilgrim of other shores,
When the dear voice of thy betrothed speaketh in the letter of affection
Let the young poet exulting in his lay, and hope (how false) of fame,
While watching at deep midnight, he buildeth up the verse, –
Let the calm child of genius, whose name shall never die,
For that the transcript of his mind hath made his thoughts immortal,-
Let these, let all, with no faint praise, with no light gratitude, confess
The blessings poured upon the earth from the pen of a ready writer.
MOREOVER, their preciousness in absence is proved by the desire of their
presence : When the despairing lover waiteth day after day, Looking for a word in reply, one word writ by that hand, And cursing bitterly the morn ushered in by blank disappointment. Or when the long-looked-for answer argueth a cooling friend, And the mind is plied suspiciously with dark inexplicable doubts, While thy wounded heart counteth its imaginary scars, And thou art the innocent and injured, that friend the capricious and in
fault: Or when the earnest petition, that craveth for thy needs Unheeded, yea, unopened, tortureth with starving delay: