Eliza Cook(24 December 1818 - 23 September 1889 / London Road / Southwark / England)
- by Eliza Cook44
I gazed on orbs of flashing black; I met the glow of hazel light; I marked the hue of laughing blue, That sparkled in the festive night. But none could fling a lasting spell To hold me with unchanging power-- The chains they cast were never fast Beyond the gay and fleeting hour-- Till Grey-eyed Mabel's gentle glance, With blushing sense and beauty rife, Bade my soul cry with burning sigh, 'I'm thine, and only thine, for life.' Black, blue, and hazel stars have set, But Mabel's grey eyes lead me yet.
What was it in sweet Mabel's eyes That told me what no others told, That roused the dull, that pleased the wise, That charmed the young and cheered the old? What was it held my world-worn breast In holy thrall--unknown before? What was it those grey eyes expressed That made me worship and adore? It was the pure and tender ray That filled those eyes in joy or woe; It was the beam that could not play Without the fountain stream below; It was the beam of simple truth, Of Woman's faith and trusting Youth.
Those soft, grey eyes were watched by mine With earnest, deep, and secret prayer; I knew, I felt, my earthly shrine Was found and fixed for ever--there. I poured my heart one moonlit night Into sweet Mabel's listening ear; Our mutual vow, from then till now, Bound each to each--fond, firm, and dear. Our boys and girls are growing round, And all give promise, brave and fair, But one, young cherub form is found First in my love, my hope, my care. And why?--ah! why? My soul replies, 'She has dear Mabel's soft, grey eyes.'
The Old Arm-chair
- by Eliza Cook42
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 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 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 eye 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 drops start down my cheek ; But I love it, I love it ; and cannot tear My soul from a mother's old Arm-chair.
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