Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

Where Are The Temperance People? In Reply To A Query


Where are the temperance people?
Well, scattered here and there:
Some gathering in their produce
To show at the autumn fair;
Some threshing wheat for market,
And others threshing rye,
That will go to the fat distiller
For whiskey by-and-by.


And some are selling their hop crops
At a first-rate price, this year,
And the seller pockets the money,
While the drunkard swallows the beer.
And some 'staunch temperance workers'(?)
Who'd do anything for the cause,
Save to give it a dime or a moment,
Or work for temperance laws,


May be seen from now to election,
Near any tavern stand
Where liquor flows in plenty,
With a voter on either hand.
And these temperance office-seekers
That we hear of far and near
Are the ones who furnish the money
That buys the lager-beer.


But these are only the black sheep
Who want the temperance name
Without living up to the precepts,
And so bring themselves to shame.
And the true, brave temperance people,
Who have the cause at heart,
Are doing the work that's nearest,
Each his allotted part:


Some lifting the fallen drunkard,
Some preaching unto men,
Some aiding the cause with money,
And others with the pen.
Each has a different mission,
Each works in a different way,
But their works shall melt together
In one grand result, some day.


And one, our chief (God bless him),
Is working day and night:
With his sword of burning eloquence,
He is fighting the noble fight.
Whether in lodge or convention,
Whether at home or abroad,
He is reaping a golden harvest
To lay at the feet of God.


Where are the temperance people?
All scattered here and there,
Sowing the seeds of righteous deeds,
That the harvest may be fair.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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