I saw a mother give wine to her boy--
   The rain-drops fall and fall:
The pride of his parents, a household joy,
   A mother's blessing, her all.

I saw the cheek of the youth grow red--
   The rain falls over the lea:
The light of his eye shone like jewels, they said:
   It spoke of ruin to me.

I saw the youth drink again and again--
   The rain falls heavy and fast:
I saw the mother's brow furrowed with pain,
   She was reaping her harvest at last.

I saw the youth go staggering by--
   The rain-drops beat and beat:
Dulled was the light of his beautiful eye;
   I saw him fall in the street.

I heard the rabble cry, "Shame! oh! shame!"
   The rain-drops sob and sob:
I heard the drunkard's once-honored name
   Shouted aloud by the mob.

I saw the youth carried home to his door--
   The rain-drops sob and sigh:
Saw the friends shun him, who sought him before,
   Saw him sink lower, and die.

I saw the stone that bore only his name--
   The rain-drops mutter and rave:
I saw the mother with sorrow and shame
    Bowed to the brink of the grave.

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

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