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 bedew’d 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 linger’d near
The hallow’d seat with list’ning 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 watch’d her many a day,
When her eye grew dim, and her locks were grey;
And I almost worshipp’d her when she smil’d
And turn’d from her Bible to bless her child.
Years roll’d on, but the last one sped—
My idol was shatter’d, 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 drops start down my cheek;
But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear
My soul from a mother’s old arm-chair.
The Christmas Holly
The holly! the holly! oh, twine it with bay— Come give the holly a song; For it helps to drive stern winter away, With his garment so sombre and long. It peeps through the trees with its berries of red, And its leaves of burnish’d green, When the flowers and fruits have long been dead, And not even the daisy is seen, Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly, That hangs over peasant and king: While we laugh and carouse ’neath its glitt’ring boughs, To the Christmas holly we’ll sing. The gale may whistle, and frost may come, To fetter the gurgling rill; The woods may be bare, and the warblers dumb— But the holly is beautiful still. In the revel and light of princely halls, The bright holly-branch is found; And its shadow falls on the lowliest walls, While the brimming horn goes round. Then drink to the holly, &c. The ivy lives long, but its home must be Where graves and ruins are spread; There’s beauty about the cypress tree, But it flourishes near the dead: The laurel the warrior’s brow may wreathe, But it tells of tears and blood. I sing the holly, and who can breathe Aught of that that is not good? Then sing to the holly, &c.