WERE I MAN GROWN

Were I man grown, I'd stand
With clean heart, soul, and hand,
An honor to this land.

I would be good and true.
I would not smoke and chew
As many grown men do.

Tobacco is foul stuff.
Hogs root it from the trough,
And serve it right enough.

I wish I'd every seed
And plant of that bad weed,
I'd make a fire indeed!

And these two lips of mine
Should never taste of wine,
Though it might glow and shine.

No wine, no beer, no gin,
No ale, no rum--within
Each drink lurk shame and sin.

And I'd not swear. Ah! when
We boys grow into men,
You'll see true manhood then.

For we shall be and do
Just what I've said; and you
Had better try it, too.

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


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