The book is all that's left me now, ~
Tears will unbidden start, ~
With faltering lip & throbbing brow
I press it to my heart.
For many generations past
Here is our family tree;
My mother's hands this Bible clasped,
She, dying, gave it me.
Ah! well do I remember those
Whose names these records bear;
Who round the hearthstone used to close,
After the evening prayer,
And speak of what these pages said
In tones my heart would thrill!
Though they are with the silent dead,
Here are they living still!
My father read this holy book
To brothers, sisters, dear;
How calm was my poor mother's look,
Who loved God's word to hear!
Her angel face, ~ I see it yet!
What thronging memories come!
Again that little group is met
Within the walls of home!
Thou truest friend man ever knew,
They constancy I've tried;
When all were false, I found thee true,
My counselor & guide.
The mines of earth no treasure give
That could this volume buy;
In teaching me the way to live,
It taught me how to die.
By George P. Morris;
as printed in McGuffey's 5th Eclectic Reader