Enough! we're tired, my heart and I. We sit beside the headstone thus, And wish that name were carved for us. The moss reprints more tenderly The hard types of the mason's knife, As Heaven's sweet life renews earth's life With which we're tired, my heart and I .... In this abundant earth no doubt Is little room for things worn out: Disdain them, break them, throw them by! And if before the days grew rough We once were loved, used, - well enough, I think, we've fared, my heart and I.
Men of science, osteologists And surgeons, beat some poets, in respect For nature,-count nought common or unclean, Spend raptures upon perfect specimens Of indurated veins, distorted joints, Or beautiful new cases of curved spine; While we, we are shocked at nature's falling off, We dare to shrink back from her warts and blains.
Books, books, books! I had found the secret of a garret room Piled high with cases in my father’s name; Piled high, packed large,--where, creeping in and out Among the giant fossils of my past, Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there At this or that box, pulling through the gap, In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy, The first book first. And how I felt it beat Under my pillow, in the morning’s dark, An hour before the sun would let me read! My books!
We get no good By being ungenerous, even to a book, And calculating profits--so much help By so much reading. It is rather when We gloriously forget ourselves, and plunge Soul-forward, headlong, into a book's profound, Impassioned for its beauty, and salt of truth-- 'Tis then we get the right good from a book.