I change but in dying,—say, wilt thou be mine?
I change but in dying,—no holier vow
From lips mortal e’er came than I breathe to thee now;
It comes from a heart with love for thee sighing;
Believe me, ’t is true,—I change but in dying!
HE IS THY BROTHER.
Go, break the chains
that bind the slave;
Go, set the captive free;
For Slavery’s banners ne’er should wave,
And slaves should never be.
Yet not in anger. Hasty words
Should not to thee belong,
They will not loose a single link,
But bind them yet more strong.
O, while ye think to him in chains
A brother’s rights are due,
Remember him who binds those chains!
He is thy brother, too!
“Will you sign the pledge?” asked one young man of another.
“No!” was the ready response; and, after a moment’s pause, “You are wrong, and I am right. You wish to deprive me of a social glass, free companionship with those I love, life’s best enjoyments, and to live bound down to the contracted limits of a temperance-pledge.-Me sign! No! Go ask leave of the soaring eagle to clip his wings; of the oriole to tarnish his bright plumage; of the bounding deer to fetter his free limbs,—but do not ask me to sign a pledge!”
The young men parted. Each went his way; one to his counting-room, the other to his home.
The proprietors of the store with which the former was connected had been for a number of years busily engaged in the importation, adulteration and sale of wines and brandies. From the cellar to the attic of their large warehouse, pipes, puncheons, and barrels of the slow poison were deposited, with innumerable bottles of wine, reputed to be old as a century, if not older. A box or two of Flemish pipes relieved the sameness of the scene,—barrels on barrels.
From the counting-room of the establishment a large number of young men had gone forth to become either wholesale or retail dealers in the death-drugged merchandise. The ill-success which attended these, and the lamentable end to which they arrived, would have been singular and mysterious, had it followed in the wake of any other business. But, as it was, effect followed cause, and such is the law of nature.
One, a young man of promise in days gone-by, recently became the inmate of an alms-house in a distant city; another, urged to madness by frequent potations, died as the fool dieth; and a third, who had been the centre light of a social circle, as he felt the chill of death come upon him, called all his friends near, and said to them, “Deal not, deal not in the arrows of death, lest those arrows pierce thine own heart at last!”