Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Poems and Songs.
IV. The Old Arm-chair
By Eliza Cook (1818–1889)
 
I LOVE it, I love it; and who shall dare
To chide me for loving that old Arm-chair?
I’ve treasur’d it long as a sainted prize;
I’ve bedew’d it with tears, and embalm’d it with sighs.
’Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart;        5
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;        10
And gentle words that mother would give;
To fit me to die, and teach me to live.
She told me shame would never betide,
With truth for my creed and God for my guide;
She taught me to lisp my earliest prayer;        15
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 grey:
And I almost worshipped her when she smiled,
And turned from her Bible to bless her child.        20
Years rolled on; but the last one sped—
My idol was shattered; my earth-star fled:
I learnt how much the heart can bear,
When I saw her die in that old Arm-chair.
 
’Tis past, ’tis past, but I gaze on it now        25
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 drops start down my cheek;        30
But I love it, I love it; and cannot tear
My soul from a mother’s old Arm-chair.
 
 
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