I find myself returning to the beautiful "Bibliotaph
," with its tight quatrains in short measure stacked up like a pile of thick tomes, bound together by a playfully profound refrain: "Bury me with my books." But if I were forced to choose a single exemplar of McFee's work, I'd recommend reading "Hydrotherapeutical," a testament to his tonal range and thematic texture.
This view became so generalized that in the eighteenth century the French Bollandist monks, feeding on Philip II's black legend, disparagingly called the Escorial library a monumental "bibliotaph
," a reliquary for books, a "great tomb of books where manuscripts rot away like corpses": Bouza, 1988, 81 (also in Bouza, 1998, 168).