"GIVE US A CALL!"

[Suggested by seeing these words in a saloon advertisement.]

Give us a call! We keep good beer,
Wine, and brandy, and whiskey here;
Our doors are open to boys and men,
And even to women, now and then.
We lighten their purses, we taint their breaths,
We swell up the column of awful deaths;

   All kinds of crimes
   We sell for dimes
In our sugared poisons, so sweet to taste!
If you've money, position, or name to waste,
   Give us a call!

Give us a call! In a pint of our gin,
We sell more wickedness, shame, and sin
Than a score of clergymen, preaching all day
From dawn till darkness, could preach away,
And in our beer (though it may take longer
To get a man drunk than drinks that are stronger)
We sell out poverty, sorrow, and woe--
Who wants to purchase? Our prices are low.
   Give us a call!

Give us a call! We'll dull your brains,
We'll give you headaches and racking pains,
We'll make you old while you yet are young,
To lies and slander we'll train your tongue,
   We'll make you a shirk
   From all useful work,
Make theft and forgery seem fair play,
And murder a pastime sure to pay.
   Give us a call!

Give us a call! We are cunning and wise,
We're bound to succeed; for we advertise
In the family papers! the journals that claim
To be pure in morals and fair of fame.
Husbands, brothers, and sons will read
Our kind invitation, and some will heed
   And give us a call!
   We pay for all
The space in the paper we occupy.
And there's little in this life that money won't buy.

If you would go down in the world, and not up,
If you would be slain by the snake in the cup,
   Or lose your soul
   In the flowing bowl,
   If you covet shame
   And a blasted name,
   Give us a call!

Drops of Water: Poems by Ella Wheeler
New York : The National Temperance Society and Publication House, 1872.


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