Air—“Fine Old English Gentleman.”
Oh, that a man into his mouth should put a deadly foe,
To steal away his health and wealth, and work disease and woe;
To drown his reason, love and worth, and desolate his home,
And leave his family in want, unheeded and alone;
Like a poor lost slave of appetite, a whisky-sucking drone.
Then cast a way the maddening draught, which thou can’st not control;
So that thou may’st not perish by the desolating bowl,
But live a useful, honest life, sustain thy moral health:
Be sure thy own, not other’s toil, supplies thy store of wealth:
Like a thorough Son of Temperance who scorns to drink by stealth.
But whilst thou fightest the effect, strive to remove the cause,
That made thee sacrifice thy health, and violate its laws;
Say, was it not exhausting toil of body or of brain,
Or indolence, that made thee drink to rouse thy sinking frame:
Caused by the robbers of the land, who riot in thy shame?
Then let the land and man be free, so that excessive toil
The workers need no longer do, for drones to reap the spoil;
That all by honest industry may earn their daily bread,
So they may know that they have been by their own labour fed;
And thus a temperate, honest life, by everyone be led.