Here in the ancient citadel
Of dreams, where dwell
The great, we softly walk and speak to-day:
Hid each within his books, hear what we say;
And know our awkward reverence, and care;
And in our dreamings share.
Makers of dreams and music and delight,
Makers of books, we thank you! Gay, austere,
You have given us this sword, this key, this light.
All that the race knows, it has left us here:
All beauty it has gathered from all lands,
Locked in a book, it lays within our hands.
The still and secret places of the mind
That are in darkness, find
Their only light
In books, those torches bright.
No man but is a poet in his soul
And answers books as equals, though he bars
His heart to other men. We are made whole
By books, as by great spaces and the stars.
Groping we live, and groping still we die,
And only books can help us find each other,
And find our own souls, hidden deeper yet.
Only a book can make us quite forget
The pain called life a little while. Oh, then,
Come, rest in shade of books, all weary men.
Oh, then, come drink of books, all thirsty souls!
And you who have the gift of truth to give,
Strip yourself ruthlessly of dreams, hopes, goals-
Put all you value in a book and live.
- Mary Carolyn Davies, 1923