You see that sheaf of slender books Upon the topmost shelf, At which no browser ever looks, Because they're by . . . myself; They're neatly bound in navy blue, But no one ever heeds; Their print is clear and candid too, Yet no one ever reads.
Poor wistful books! How much they cost To me in time and gold! I count them now as labour lost, For none I ever sold; No copy could I give away, For all my friends would shrink, And look at me as if to say: "What waste of printer's ink!"
And as I gaze at them on high, Although my eyes are sad, I cannot help but breathe a sigh To think what joy I had - What ecstasy as I would seek To make my rhyme come right, And find at last the phrase unique Flash fulgent in my sight.
Maybe that rapture was my gain Far more than cheap success; So I'll forget my striving vain, And blot out bitterness. Oh records of my radiant youth, No broken heart I'll rue, For all my best of love and truth Is there, alive in you.