What stings of conscience men will bear,
Their tastes to gratify;
Resolve and re-resolve, and still
Themselves cannot deny.
They say, “I’d give a thousand worlds
Could I the victory gain.”
Your cause is just, to conquer here,
And all your rights maintain.
“What use,” you ask, “to say I will,
And almost know I shan’t;
I’ve tried, and tried, and tried again,
To quit, but oh! I can’t.”
Well, be it so; your course pursue,
But what will be the end?
Your conscience soon will be so seared,
You’ll want no other friend.
Chief of the comforts you enjoy,
What comfort now you take.
When you’re deprived of these, how sad,
Gloomy and desolate.
Why thus? Your nerves are all unstrung;
You’re almost ruined now.
Does patience have her perfect work,
While thus you break each vow?
When worn with toil, how soon you seek
Your coffee, rum, or tea;
When trouble comes, these are your gods,
To which for help you flee.
Another, all his senses gone,
When giving up his quid,
In irritation mourns his lot,
From him all good seems hid.
The poisonous weed, the deadly drink
Are eagerly pursued;
So are they loved, men hardly wish
Their appetites subdued.
The exhilarating influence
When loved, who will forego?
The sad effects of these produce
The sum of human woe.
Not we alone the sufferers are;
Our friends must bear a part;
The animation felt by us
With them is a broken heart.
An oft untimely grave the lot,
Of those thus overcome;
What desolation then is felt,
In their once peaceful home?
Ere vigor, health, and life are gone,
Rouse every latent power;
The victory gained, again you’re blest,
Within your own loved bower.
Heed not the tempter when he comes,
And pleads once more to yield;
Have you not fully yet resolved,
To shun this battle-field?
Why risk the victory you have gained?
Your resolution lost
This once might prove your ruin here,
And life eternal cost.
Try once again, while there is hope
To conquer and to live;
God will, if you will let him, help,
And all the past forgive.
He’ll help to get the victory;
And victory must be gained,
Or no resolve to break the hold,
Will ever be maintained.
Not victory for a single day,
A week, a month, a year;
But victory that will stand the test
While we continue here.
A victory that will overcome
To gratify perverted taste,
By habit made entire.
The conflict rages fiercely on;
Here victory, then defeat;
But faint not, you can overcome,
And make your foes retreat.
An armor for us is prepared,
A helmet, sword and shield,
And He who mighty is to save,
Is with us on the field.
Experience can alone impart
The joy of sins forgiven,
Freedom in God while here below,
And soon a home in Heaven.