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Short poem

George Phillips Morris (1802-1864)

My Mother's Bible

              1This book is all that's left me now! --
              2   Tears will unbidden start --
              3With faltering lip and throbbing brow
              4   I press it to my heart.
              5For many generations past,
              6   Here is our family tree;
              7My mother's hands this Bible clasped,
              8   She, dying, gave it me.

              9Ah! well do I remember those
            10   Whose names these records bear;
            11Who round the hearth-stone used to close
            12   After the evening prayer,
            13And speak of what these pages said,
            14   In tones my heart would thrill!
            15Though they are with the silent dead,
            16   Here are they living still!

            17My father read this holy book
            18   To brothers, sisters dear;
            19How calm was my poor mother's look
            20   Who leaned God's word to hear!
            21Her angel face -- I see it yet!
            22   What vivid memories come! --
            23Again that little group is met
            24   Within the halls of home!

            25Thou truest friend man ever knew,
            26   Thy constancy I 've tried:
            27Where all were false I found thee true,
            28   My counsellor and guide.
            29The mines of earth no treasures give
            30   That could this volume buy:
            31In teaching me the way to live,
            32   It taught me how to die.

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Poems (New York: Charles Scribner , 1860): 85-86.
First publication date: 1838
Publication date note: The Deserted Bride and Other Poems (1838)
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/7

Form: octets
Rhyme: ababcdcd

Other poems by George Phillips Morris