Digital Tradition Mirror

The Drunkard's Dream (2)

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The Drunkard's Dream (2)

"What makes you look so healthy now?
You dress so neat an' clean;
I have not seen you drunk about,
Pray tell me, where you been?

"An' is your wife an' children well?
You once did use them strange;
Or have you to them kinder grown,
What makes this happy change?"

"It was a dream, a warnin' one,
That heaven sent to me,
That snatched me from a drunkard's curse,
Great wants an' misery.

"My wages was all spent in drink,
Oh, what a wretched view;
I almost broke my Mary's heart
An' starved my children, too.

"Oh, Mary's form did waste away,
I seen her sunken eyes;
I starved my children night an' day,
I heard their wailin ' cries.

"I thought once more I staggered home,
I seen a silent gloom;
I missed my wife-where could she be?
An' strangers in the room.

"I heard them say, `Pore thing, she's dead,
She's lived a turrible life,
Grief an' sorrow has broke her heart,
Who'd be a drunkard's wife!'

"My children stood a-cryin' round,
They scarcely drawed their breath;
I knelt an' kissed her lifeless form
Forever cold in death.

" 'Oh father, father, wake her up.
The folks all say she's dead,
An' make her speak an' smile once more,
An' we won't cry for bread.'

" 'She is not dead,' I frantic cried,
I run to where she lay;
I knelt an' kissed her once-warm lips
Which now was cold as clay.

" 'Oh Mary, speak once more for me,
I'II never give you pain;
I'II never grieve your lovin' heart,
I'II never drink again!

" 'Oh Mary, speak, it's Edward's call,'
I says. `I know,' she cried;
An' when I woke my Mary dear
Was weepin' by my side.

"I pressed her to my throbbin' heart,
An' joy an' tears did stream;
I ever since have heaven blessed
For sendin' me that dream."

From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph
Collected from Judy Jane Whittaker, MO 1928
note: This was one of the most-popular temperance songs. It
     dates from the 1850s. Recorded by Puckett and by the North Carolina
     Ramblers. RG

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