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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Maurice Francis Egan (1852–1924)

The Chrysalis of a Bookworm

I READ, O friend, no pages of old lore,

Which I loved well—and yet the flying days,

That softly passed as wind through green spring ways

And left a perfume, swift fly as of yore;

Though in clear Plato’s stream I look no more,

Neither with Moschus sing Sicilian lays,

Nor with bold Dante wander in amaze,

Nor see our Will the Golden Age restore.

I read a book to which old books are new,

And new books old. A living book is mine—

In age, three years: in it I read no lies,

In it to myriad truths I find the clue—

A tender little child; but I divine

Thoughts high as Dante’s in her clear blue eyes.