The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123541   Message #2723483
Posted By: Jim Dixon
14-Sep-09 - 01:22 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: I Saw a Man at the Close of Day (Grayson)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE DRUNKARD (1829)
I SAW A MAN AT THE CLOSE OF DAY was recorded by G. B. Grayson & Henry Whitter in 1929. It is usually credited to G. B. Grayson; HOWEVER, I found this, in The Ariel: A Literary and Critical Gazette, (Philadelphia: Edmund Morris, Vol. 2, No. 22, Feb 21, 1829), page 174:

Essays, sermons, and lectures on intemperance, are a mere drug; there is no turning over a newspaper of any kind but you may find a dozen. Yet they ought not to be read the less, or their recommendations more slightly regarded. The ground which their authors assume, has been gone ever an hundred times before; so that to make people read them, some novelty, or some peculiarly captivating style must be adopted, like the heading to our lottery advertisements. The writer of the following lines has adopted this plan. There is a little novelty in his manner, and a good deal of beauty in his style—enough, at least, to make his worn-out subject of intemperance quite bearable. The piece is taken from The Southron, a paper but recently established in one of the southern states.


I saw him, 'twas at dawn of day,
Before an ale-house door;
His eyes were sunk, his lips were parch'd,
I view'd him o'er and o'er.
His infant boy clung to his side,
And lisping to him, said,
"Come father—mother's sick at home;
And sister cries for bread."

He trembling rose and stagger'd in,
As oft he'd done before,
And to the landlord faultering said,
"Come, give us one glass more."
The host complies—his purple lips
Now press the venom'd bowl;
He drinks—whilst wife and children starve,
To ruin sends his soul.

A year elaps'd—I pass'd that way—
A crowd stood at the door—
I ask'd the cause, when one replied,
"Ned Hawkins is no more."
I saw his fun'ral move along,
No wife nor child was there—
They, too, had join'd their mother earth,
And left this world of care.

Reflect! ye vot'ries of the bowl—
Know ye 'tis heaven's decree,
"Ye ne'er shall taste eternal life,
Lest from the bowl you flee."
Reflect! ere wife and children mourn,
Fly from the ale-house, fly!
Or you'll, like Ned, neglected live,
Like him, neglected die.