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 an 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.

by Robert Southey

Comments (2)

His delight is with the dead, his thoughts are with the dead, and his hopes are with the dead. I've never thought books were dead though I suppose their authors could be considered so. Yet they live as long as we read their words and thoughts and deeds, don't you think?
i've read this poem during my school days and the last two lines of the first verse have always left an idelible mark on my mind whenever i'm in a library. How well the poet has expressed his sentiments is what i really appreciate very much. i didn't remember neither the author's name nor all the verses. it's only with the 2 lines that i remembered so well all these years that i was able to track them through your website. Thank you so much indeed!