Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

To Members And Office-Bearers Of Temperance Societies

I speak to my brothers-to men who have given
A pledge unto man-a pledge unto heaven,
That in deed and in truth they will temperance maintain:
Oh! let not your purpose, your labour be vain.
A place, a position, a prestige, a name,
If your first love is cold, will not save you from blame;
And the foes of the cause will exult when they find
That your spirit and purpose have sadly declined.
Be earnest-how earnest are all things around!-
Be earnest in prayer; in thinking, profound;
Be earnest in working, while yet it is day-
The night cometh swiftly-oh! work while you may.
We must work with a will if we hope to prevail:
Truth's stranger than fiction, and never will fail.
No pen can portray such scenes and such tales
As are found in our private and police details.
We tickle the ear to insure our success;
The form of intemperance in tinsel we dress;
And think, where our earnest endeavour oft fails,
Our end we attain by sensational tales.
We seem as we knew not-could not realise
That the fire is not quenched, and the worm never dies
In the breast of the drunkard, till blessing from heaven,
In aid of our efforts to save him, is given.
When talent and music dance lightly along,
And trip us a measure in story or song,
We read, or we listen, with soft-bated breath,
While intemperance is leading the wild dance of death.
Be candid, be courteous, admit of reform-
Let friendly advice not engender a storm;
For this ye are leagued, ye are pledged to put down
The vice of intemperance, its customs disown.
98 Total read