Bible First

 'TIS well nigh forty years ago: 

How time doth run! But still 't is so 

A good man sat beside the fire, 

While a beautiful child, who called him sire, 

Had just come in at the nursery door, 

And was playing beside him upon the floor. 

'T was early morn; the father waits 

For breakfast, they have laid the plates, 

The daily paper takes to read, 

But the child climbs in his lap, with speed, 

And snatching the paper away, he cries 

His blue eyes filled with a sad surprise 

"No, no, papa, take the Bible first." 

The father embraces the beautiful boy, 

With a loving pride and a trembling joy; 

He feels that an angel is hovering nigh; 

Too full his heart to make reply; 

But he goes to work, when the meal is o'er, 

With a lesson then learned, as never before. 

The sweet little Mentor death calls away; 

And while he bends over the beautiful clay, 

The father feels his child has been 

A messenger sent his soul to win. 

The lisping words still sound in his ears, 

As wealth comes in with the rolling years, 

And the "Bible first," 'mid all his cares, 

Still uppermost in his heart he bears; 

The word of God as his rule of life, 

A helper and guide in the world's rude strife. 

Advocate and Guardian.