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.
When the merry spring time weaves Its peeping bloom and dewy leaves; When the primrose opes its eye, And the young moth flutters by; When the plaintive turtle dove Pours its notes of peace and love; And the clear sun flings its glory bright and wide— Yet, my soul will own More joy in winter's frown, And wake with warmer flush at Christmas tide. The summer beams may shine On the rich and curling vine, And the noon-tide rays light up The tulip's dazzling cup: But the pearly misletoe And the holly-berries' glow Are not even by the boasted rose outvied; For the happy hearts beneath The green and coral wreath Love the garlands that are twined at Christmas tide. Let the autumn days produce Yellow corn and purple juice, And Nature's feast be spread In the fruitage ripe and red; ’Tis grateful to behold Gushing grapes and fields of gold, When cheeks are brown'd and red lips deeper dyed: But give, oh! give to me The winter night of glee, The mirth and plenty seen at Christmas tide. The northern gust may howl, The rolling storm-cloud scowl, King Frost may make a slave Of the river's rapid wave, The snow-drift choke the path, Or the hail-shower spend its wrath; But the sternest blast right bravely is defied, While limbs and spirits bound To the merry minstrel sound, And social wood-fires blaze at Christmas tide. The song, the laugh, the shout, Shall mock the storm without; And sparkling wine-foam rise ’Neath still more sparkling eyes; The forms that rarely meet Then hand to hand shall greet, And soul pledge soul that leagues too long divide. Mirth, friendship, love, and light Shall crown the winter night, And every glad voice welcome Christmas tide. But while joy's echo falls In gay and plenteous halls, Let the poor and lowly share The warmth, the sports, the fare; For the one of humble lot Must not shiver in his cot, But claim a bounteous meed from wealth and pride. Shed kindly blessings round, Till no aching heart be found; And then all hail to merry Christmas tide!