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 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, 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 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. Oh, let it such a volume be As in rare copperplates abounds, Large paper, clean, and fair to see, Uncut, unique, unknown to Lowndes.
– Eugene Field (19th c.)