Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: I. About Children
The Old Arm-Chair
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 treasured it long as a sainted prize,
I ’ve bedewed it with tears, I ’ve embalmed it with sighs.
’T is bound by a thousand bands to my heart;        5
Not a tie will break, not a link will start;
Would you know 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 that 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 gray;
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 her old arm-chair.
 
’T is past, ’t is past! but I gaze on it now,        25
With quivering breath and throbbing brow:
’T was there she nursed me, ’t was there she died,
And memory flows with lava tide.
Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
Whilst 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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