Mary Eliza Tucker Lambert


Take in hand the cup of delusion,
With your eyes on the future, drink;
Scorn the results, however appalling,
Tho' you see that you stand upon Hell's dark brink.
The bubbles that float on the top of the cup
Are only the tears of your wife!
You have drained her happiness in the draught-
Drink on, you will drain her life.
Drink on, fill the glowing cup anew-
Now the drops look red, blood red:
It is only the blood of your little ones-
And their doom rests on your head!
Drink then, drink on; take the cup to your lips!
What matter if parents' grey hairs
Are floating upon its surface in scores!
Drink on, you will drown your cares!
Drink then, drink on; for you must take the cup-
'Tis no longer a matter of will;
No longer the cup of habit or choice-
But the cup of punishment-fill!
Yes, drain the cup to the bitter dregs,
While the fiends laugh at your pains;
And exult to know that but wretchedness
In the tempting wine remains.