One Woman's Plea
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Now God be with the men who stand
In legislative halls, to-day.
Those chosen princes of our land --
May God be with them all, I say,
And may His wisdom guide and shield them,
For mighty is the trust we yield them.
Oh, men! who hold a people's fate,
There in the hollow of your hand.
Each word you utter, soon or late,
Shall leave its impress on our land --
Forth from the halls of legislation,
Shall speed its way through all our nation.
Then, may the Source of Truth, and Light,
Be ever o'er them, ever near,
And may He guide each word aright;
May no false precept greet the ear,
No selfish love, for purse, or faction,
Stay Justice's hand, or guide one action.
And may no one, among these men
Lift to his lips the damning glass,
Let no man say, with truth, again,
What has been said, in truth, alas!
Men drink, in halls of legislation --
Why shouldn't we, of lower station?
And may God's lasting curses fall
On those who hint, or boldly say,
That men have need of alcohol,
Or that wine helps them, anyway.
These imps of hell - for all who aid them
May God's eternal curse upbraid them.
Oh, men! you see, you hear this beast,
This fiend that pillages the earth,
Whose work is death - whose hourly feast,
Is noble souls, and minds of worth --
You see - and if you will not chain him,
Nor reach one hand forth, to detain him,
For God's sake, do not give him aid,
Nor urge him onward. Oh, to me
It seems so strange that laws are made
To crush all other crimes, while he
Who bears down through Hell's gaping portals
The countless souls of rum-wrecked mortals
Is left to wander, to and fro,
In perfect freedom through the land,
And those who ought to see, and know,
Will lift no warning voice or hand.
Oh, men in halls of legislation,
Rise to the combat, save the nation!
Source:Poems of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
W.P. Nimmo, Hay, and Mitchell, Edinburgh