Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

On Seeing The Body Of A Woman Drawn From The Monkland Canal

Drifting before the tempter's power,
This piteous wreck in horror's hour
On dark perdition's rock was driven!
Let groaning earth and righteous heaven
Sum up the cost, the fearful price,
Intemperance-bloodiest, costliest vice-
Thy victims pay! Dread Alcohol!
No less than body, substance, soul
Thy minions and thy venders crave.
So, dripping from the muddy wave
They drag-but, ah! too late to save
From suicidal drunkard's grave-
A bruised and wasted female form,
Who perished in the deadly storm
Of maddening drink's delirious throes.
Bind up her hair; her eyelids close;
Her body lay beneath the sod-
The soul's award is given by God.
Oh, woman, woman! mother! wife!
The founts whence gush the streams of life
Are thine-why with the accursed thing
Thus poison and pollute the spring
Of human life? Why bear the name-
The drunkard's brand of guilt and shame-
The dire conjunction, ah! too common-
A mother, wife, and drunken woman!
99 Total read