I came across the following verses, excerpted from a slender collection of poems, The View From Pike’s Peak by Bernard L. Rice, published in 1898.
THE FRIENDSHIP OF BOOKS
Silent friends are the books we read;
Yet they speak with note sublime,
Oft in the august voice of praise,
Oft in the sweeter tones of rhyme…
They tell us strange legends and stories old
Of the far-off days of the long-ago,
And we’re sitting beside the tavern gray
While the village clock strikes long and slow.
And often they tell us a merrier tale
Of revels and glittering banquet halls,
Bright glimpses we catch of faces gay
And a mirthful laugh to the pleasure calls…
There’s a world of wealth in the printed page,
There are hoarded treasures, rich thoughts of gold,
There are diamonds of wisdom from every age,
The well-gathered wages of labor untold.