To My Daughter, My Books
When I have vanished like a dream
And sleep beneath some Fenland sod,
Don’t bring me wreaths of evergreen
Or weep and wail and blaspheme God.
I leave you treasure that was mine,
The culture of each bygone age,
Laid down in books like vintage wine,
Pouring out from every page.
Books were my life’s delight and led
To riches far beyond my dreams:
Not earthly wealth, but fountainheads
Of philosophic thought, bright seams
Of wisdom, voices of the past
Which lit my way, sometimes amused
Or caused a tear to fall. A vast
Miscellany. Take them and use
Them well, each one has been a friend,
And may the truths you find console.
In these, and in the books I’ve penned,
You’ll find the substance of my soul.