The Old Arm-chair

Original Text: 
The Poetical Works of Eliza Cook (London: Frederick Warne and Co., [1869]): 31-32. PR 4502 A17 1869 Robarts Library
1I LOVE it, I love it; and who shall dare
2To chide me for loving that old Arm-chair?
3I've treasured it long as a sainted prize;
4I've bedewed it with tears, and embalmed it with sighs.
5'Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart;
6Not a tie will break, not a link will start.
7Would ye learn the spell? -- a mother sat there;
8And a sacred thing is that old Arm-chair.
9In Childhood's hour I lingered near
10The hallowed seat with listening ear;
11And gentle words that mother would give;
12To fit me to die, and teach me to live.
13She told me shame would never betide,
14With truth for my creed and God for my guide;
15She taught me to lisp my earliest prayer;
16As I knelt beside that old Arm-chair.
17I sat and watched her many a day,
18When her eye grew dim, and her locks were grey:
19And I almost worshipped her when she smiled,
20And turned from her Bible, to bless her child.
21Years rolled on; but the last one sped--
22My idol was shattered; my earth-star fled:
23I learnt how much the heart can bear,
24When I saw her die in that old Arm-chair.
25'Tis past, 'tis past, but I gaze on it now
26With quivering breath and throbbing brow:
27'Twas there she nursed me; 'twas there she died:
28And Memory flows with lava tide.
29Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
30While the scalding drops start down my cheek;
31But I love it, I love it; and cannot tear
32My soul from a mother's old Arm-chair.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1996-2000.