Robert William Service
Like prim Professor of a College
I primed my shelves with books of knowledge;
And now I stand before them dumb,
Just like a child that sucks its thumb,
And stares forlorn and turns away,
With dolls or painted bricks to play.
They glour at me, my tomes of learning.
"You dolt!" they jibe; "you undiscerning
Moronic oaf, you make a fuss,
With highbrow swank selecting us;
Saying: "I'll read you all some day' -
And now you yawn and turn away.
"Unwanted wait we with our store
Of facts and philosophic lore;
The scholarship of all the ages
Snug packed within our uncut pages;
The mystery of all mankind
In part revealed - but you are blind.
"You have no time to read, you tell us;
Oh, do not think that we are jealous
Of all the trash that wins your favour,
The flimsy fiction that you savour:
We only beg that sometimes you
Will spare us just an hour or two.
"For all the minds that went to make us
Are dust if folk like you forsake us,
And they can only live again
By virtue of your kindling brain;
In magice print they packed their best:
Come - try their wisdom to digest. . . ."
Said I: "Alas! I am not able;
I lay my cards upon the table,
And with deep shame and blame avow
I am too old to read you now;
So I will lock you in glass cases
And shun your sad, reproachful faces."
* * * * * * * * *
My library is noble planned,
Yet in it desolate I stand;
And though my thousand books I prize,
Feeling a witling in their eyes,
I turn from them in weariness
To wallow in the Daily Press.
For, oh, I never, never will
The noble field of knowledge till:
I pattern words with artful tricks,
As children play with painted bricks,
And realize with futile woe,
Nothing I know - nor want to know.
My library has windowed nooks;
And so I turn from arid books
To vastitude of sea and sky,
And like a child content am I
With peak and plain and brook and tree,
Crying: "Behold! the books for me:
Nature, be thou my Library!"
Robert William Service's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (My Library by Robert William Service )
(1644 - 1694)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Elinor Morton Wylie
(7 September 1885 – 16 December 1928)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Warning, Jenny Joseph
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
Poem of the Day
- Sentiments And Wilful Desires, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- alright fine, i'll go crazy again, Mandolyn ...
- Pictures Of Fame, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Vaders gaan niet dood, Madrason writer
- Desires Finding Their Places, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Joyful Sounds, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Last Horizon, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- i want to weigh the moon with you, Mandolyn ...
- Italian Birthday Poem, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- God's Most Published Poet, Tom Zart