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The Old Arm-Chair
by Eliza Cook
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THE OLD ARM-CHAIR

BY

ELIZA COOK



ILLUSTRATIONS BY

MISS L. B. HUMPHREY AND OTHERS

BOSTON

D. LOTHROP & COMPANY



Copyright, 1886, By D. Lothrop & Co.



THE OLD ARM-CHAIR.

I love it, I love it; and who shall dare To chide me for loving that old arm-chair? I've cherished it long as a sainted prize; I've bedewed it with tears and embalmed it with sighs 'Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart; Not a tie will break, not a link will start. Would ye learn the spell?—a mother sat there: And a sacred thing is that old arm-chair.

In childhood's hour I lingered near The hallowed seat with listening ear; And gentle words that mother would give, To fit me to die and teach me to live. She told me that shame would never betide, With truth for my creed and God for my guide She taught me to lisp my earliest prayer, As I knelt beside that old arm-chair.

I sat and watched her many a day, When her eye grew dim and her locks were gray; And I almost worshipped her when she smiled, And turned from her Bible to bless her child. Years rolled on, but the last one sped— My idol was shattered, my earth-star fled; I learned how much the heart could bear, When I saw her die in that old arm-chair.

'Tis past, 'tis past, but I gaze on it now With quivering breath and throbbing brow: 'Twas there she nursed me, 'twas there she died; And memory flows with lava tide. Say it is folly, and deem me weak While the scalding tears drop down my cheek: But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear My soul from a mother's old arm-chair.



THE OLD ARM-CHAIR.

I love it, I love it, and who shall dare To chide me for loving that old arm-chair? I've cherished it long as a sainted prize; I've bedewed it with tears and embalmed it with sighs.



'Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart; Not a tie will break, not a link will start. Would ye learn the spell?—a mother sat there; And a sacred thing is that old arm-chair.



In childhood's hour I lingered near The hallowed seat with listening ear; And gentle words that mother would give, To fit me to die and teach me to live.



She told me that shame would never betide, With truth for my creed and God for my guide;



She taught me to lisp my earliest prayer, As I knelt beside that old arm-chair.



I sat and watched her many a day, When her eye grew dim and her locks were gray; And I almost worshipped her when she smiled, And turned from her Bible to bless her child.



Years rolled on; but the last one sped— My idol was shattered; my earth-star fled;



I learned how much the heart could bear, When I saw her die in that old arm-chair.



'Tis past, 'tis past, but I gaze on it now With quivering breath and throbbing brow:



'Twas there she nursed me, 'twas there she died; And Memory flows with lava tide.



Say it is folly, and deem me weak, While the scalding tears drop down my cheek: But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear My soul from a mother's old arm-chair.



[Transcribers Note: The poem appears twice in the original, as reproduced here; once without interruption, once with illustrations interspersed.]

THE END

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