Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Dark Hours: The Drunkard's Mother

Dark hours of tearless, sleepless grief,
Of woe, denied the soft relief
Of tears, to soothe the burning smart
That throbs and festers in my heart.
Oft has this grief my soul o'erspread,
Like funeral pall above the dead.
Ah, me! beneath the coffin-lid
Of murdered hopes for ever hid,
My promised joys of love and trust
With them lie mouldering in the dust.
Ah! not in sentimental strain
Of love-sick maid and sighing swain
I sing, who, crossed in hapless love,
The tender anguish deeply prove-
Nor that fierce grief when loss of fame,
Of wealth, of power, the baffled aim
Of worldly schemes, sends to the heart
Keen disappointment's venom'd dart.
Is such thy grief? you ask.-Ah, no!
A darker, deeper, deadlier woe
Is mine. Within its poisonous folds
My writhing heart a serpent holds;
I vainly struggle in the toils,
More closely wind the crushing coils.
No hand but His, to whom is given
All power in earth, all power in heaven,
The hideous reptile can unwind,
My crushed and broken heart upbind.
Lord, speak with power, I Thee implore,
As when, by lone Gennesaret's shore,
As God, Thou gave the high command,
That legion fiends might not withstand.
Oh, speak the words of power again,
All power, all words but Thine are vain;
This demoniac, fiercely driven,
Assaulting man, defying heaven,
'Twere joy ineffable, complete,
To see him sitting at Thy feet,
Renewed in heart, in mind restored,
Oh, speak the word; oh, save him, Lord!
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