I saw a man at early dawn
Sitting round a grocery door
His eyes were sunk, his lips
As I viewed him o'er and o'er.
A little boy stood by his side
And unto him did say:
Dear Father, Mother's sick at home
And sister cries for bread.
He turned around, went in at the door
And staggering up to the bar,
He faltered unto the landlord:
Just give me one drink more.
The host obeyed at this command
And again filled up the bowl.
He drank while wife and children starved
And ruined his own soul.
A year had elapsed; I passed that way.
A crowd had gathered round.
I paused to ask the reason why.
One replied: the drunkard is no more.
I saw a hearse move slowly along;
No wife nor children were there
They had gone before the murderer,
And left this world of care.
Come all you jolly dram drinkers,
By this a warning take;
And quit the overflowing bowl
Before it is too late.
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The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Special Collections, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.