Mrs. S. A. Collins



A Demon

by Mrs. S. A. Collins

There's a demon today, that is abroad in our land.

      He stalks here and there at his will.

The sheriff or marshal inquire not his name,

Or ask of the victims he kills.

He enters the door of our once happy home,

      Takes from it the father and son,

Brings sorrow and dread to the little ones there,

      This terrible demon, this vile serpent--Rum.

The children today, in the streets of our cities,

      Half clad and so hungry at times,

Are made so by this demon, their parents indulge,

      There's where they spend their dollars and dimes.

The poor disgraced criminal, when brought to the bar

      To be tried for some heinous crime,

Looks back in his mind to this demon of drink,

      While on him is the Curse,--this sorrowful time.

There are mothers whose hearts are breaking today,

      With anguish and sorrow and fear,

For children who thoughtless, partake of the bowl,

      Not thinking of their mother's tear.

And husbands, whose breath never pure as of yore,

      Whose personal pride is all gone,

Whose love for the home seems drowned in the cup,

      And respect for his family has flown.

You can see in his face those traces of vice,

His eyes have lost luster and life.

The demon looks out, plainly showing to men,

      He asks only turmoil and strife.

And the grief-stricken wife, living on with no hope;

      The children without clothing or food.

What have they to live for? They only exist.

      Their future? It may be for good.

How much better for them, if these victims of drink,

      Were sleeping beneath the cold clod,

Before they were led by this demon away,

      ďAnd they might then be at peace with their God."

To be sure from the depths of misery and want,

Has sprung many kind, loving hands,

Who are laboring to save from this terrible fate,

      The fathers and sons of our land.

From the time long ago, when the boy in the belfry,

      Called out to his grandpa, to ring that great bell,

Which sounded so joyous to our forefathers gathered,

      And made the land tremble asGreat Britain fell.

It seems that the ones who are sure to reach souls

      With their heart-felt pleadings to save,

Are those who, tho' fallen, are lifted above,

      Have been rescued from drink's early grave.

Oh! How many lives have been blighted,

How many minds been deranged!

How many gray hairs gone down to the grave

      In sorrow! "Will times ever change?"

And stop--must I tell it? There are others today,

      Who, in the whirl-pool of vice, must go down

Unless rescued by some one. Oh, speak to them kindly.

      Each saved is a star in your crown.

Then let us, today, wake up to our duty!

There is a great work to be done.

We must labor to save the young of our land.

      Save the daughters and brothers and sons.

We'll unfurl the banner and make known to the world,

      That intemperance must sometime give way;

When love, truth and right, boon companions will be.

      Oh, hasten, that grand glorious day.