This book is all that's left me now,
Tears will unbidden start—
With faltering lip and throbbing brow
I press it to my heart.
For many generations past,
Here is our family tree;
My mother’s hand 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 halls of home!
Thou truest friend man ever knew,
Thy constancy I’ve tried;
Where all were false, I found thee true,
My counselor and 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 (1802–1864)