Sentimental reciter/The 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 treasured it long as a sainted prize—
I’ve bedewed it with tears, and enbalmed it with sighs
Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart,
Not a tie will break, not a link will start.
Would you 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 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 eyes grew dim and her locks were grey,
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 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
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 start from my cheek.
But I love it—I love it, and cannot tear
My soul from a mother’s old arm chair.

Eliza Cook


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.