Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
Eugene Field. 1850–1895
224. The Bibliomaniac's Prayer
KEEP me, I pray, in wisdom's way 
  That I may truths eternal seek; 
I need protecting care to-day,— 
  My purse is light, my flesh is weak. 
So banish from my erring heart         5
  All baleful appetites and hints 
Of Satan's fascinating art, 
  Of first editions, and of prints. 
Direct me in some godly walk 
  Which leads away from bookish strife,  10
That I with pious deed and talk 
  May extra-illustrate my life. 
But if, O Lord, it pleaseth Thee 
  To keep me in temptation's way, 
I humbly ask that I may be  15
  Most notably beset to-day; 
Let my temptation be a book, 
  Which I shall purchase, hold, and keep, 
Whereon when other men shall look, 
  They 'll wail to know I got it cheap.  20
Oh, let it such a volume be 
  As in rare copperplates abounds, 
Large paper, clean, and fair to see, 
  Uncut, unique, unknown to Lowndes. 

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