The Song Of The Bereaved.

A poem by Nora Pembroke

(I have borrowed thy pattern, dear Hood, to cut out our mourning garments.)

With garments for sorrow torn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat by a new-made grave,
Bewailing her slaughtered dead--
Weep! weep! weep!
Tears of remorseful pain;
The sorrow that sorrows without a hope,
Is poured forth above the slain.

Drink! drink! drink!
It slayeth on every side,
Till the blue-eyed baby is fatherless,
And a desolate widow the bride.
O for a gleam of light
On the home, on the friendly hand,
That pours in kindness the burning draught
That maketh a desolate land.

Drink! drink! drink!
The horse-leech ever craves,
There are empty chairs in the desolate home,
And the earth swells with new-made graves.
Cellar, saloon, and bar,
Bar, cellar, saloon,
And a wasted life, and a hopeless death,
Is the tempted victim's doom

O men with the friendly treat!
O women with New Year's wine!
It is not liquor you're pouring out,
But your child's blood and mine,
Drink! drink! drink!
In joyous youthful prime,
Drink that marks out the downward road
To want and disease and crime

Drink in the lordly hall,
Pour out the blood-red wine,--
And grey hairs sorrow over the grave,
That is dug before its time
Drink for the darling son,
Till the softened brain goes mad,
And darkness falls on the father's life
Which is bound in the life of the lad.

Every unwilling slave
Standeth on the bedroom's brink,
But what will free the body and soul
That is enslaved by drink?
Bar, cellar, saloon,
Cellar, saloon and bar
Alas, that the demon of drink slays more
By far than the demon of war

Drink! drink! drink!
Till manhood and pride are gone,
Drink over the grave of self-respect,
And then in despair drink on.
Drink! drink! drink!
Drink at the fearful cost
Of knowing that though still cursed with life,
Yet hope is forever lost.

Our brightest go down to death,
We cannot our dearest save;
And we dare not think of the judgment seat
That lieth beyond the grave.
Drink! drink! drink!
So many are licensed to sell,
Drink; you will surely find the house,
Whose guests find the way to hell.

Oh for the plighted band
Of those who are bound to save
Their fellow men from the fearful doom
That extends beyond the grave!
Alas! they are trying hard
To do, what they cannot do,
To wage a war to the uttermost,
And only hurt a few.

Bar, cellar, saloon,
Cellar, saloon and bar
Are swiftly, surely, doing their work
As those who in earnest are;
And the moderate drinker stands,
Kind, at the head of the way,
And opens the gate, with friendly hands,
Of the road that leads astray.

Of the road that leads astray,
And never will stop to think
That the shroud is sewed, and the grave is dug,
For the lost by moderate drink;
And the banded are loath to strike,
They have friends on the other side,
And therefore "Hell hath enlarged herself"
And opened her mouth so wide

The strong and the brave are lost,
Do we keep the tender and fair?
Does the demon who strikes down fathers and sons,
All the daughters and sisters spare?
Bar cellar saloon
Cellar, saloon and bar,--
Oh! who will preach a new crusade,
Or join in this holy war?

With garments for sorrow torn,--
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat by a new made grave,
Bewailing over the dead
Weep! weep! weep!
How many will weep in vain?
How many will rise in a holy cause,
That the slayer may be slain?

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