Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

The Victim Of Drink: The Early Lost

The early lost I mourn,
Ah, not the early dead;
The early lost return,
Young hope's fair blossom shed.
Gone up like dust.
Oh, deeper than the wail
That sounds above the dead
It is, when hope must fail,
And love is chill'd and dead;
No hope, no trust.
Oh curse most dread and dire,
Oh thing most black and foul;
Slakeless thirst and quenchless fire
That scorcheth heart and soul!
I can but weep.
Oh most insidious foe,
That, vampire-like, doth cling,
Draining the blood; yet lo,
Soft fanning with its wing
The victim's sleep!
Oh sad and anxious mind,
Dost think all goodness gone
And nought but ill behind,
That thus thou makest moan?
Oh calmly think.
Calm, saidst thou? I am calm-
The calm of deep despair;
Say, know'st thou of a balm
To heal (the cure is rare),
That plague-sore drink!
The words, the sounds I hear,
The sights that pass me by,
They smite and wound my ear,
And blast my wakeful eye
By night and day.
Thine are these horrors, drink!
My country's curse and shame;
From them my soul would shrink,
And 'gainst thy power and name
For ever pray.
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