Now come young men and list to me,
A sad and mournful history;
And may you ne'er forgetful be
Of what I tell this day to thee.
Oh, I was thoughtless, young, and gay
And often broke the Sabbath day,
In wickedness I took delight
And sometimes done what wasn't right.
I'd scarcely passed my fifteenth year,
My mother and my father dear
Were silent in their deep, dark grave,
Their spirits gone to Him who gave.
'Twas on a pleasant summer day
When from my home I ran away
And took unto myself a wife,
Which step was fatal to my life.
Oh, she was kind and good to me
As ever woman ought to be,
And might this day have been alive no doubt,
Had I not met Miss Hatty Stout.
Ah, well I mind the fatal day
When Hatty stole my heart away;
'Twas love for her controlled my will
And did cause me my wife to kill.
'Twas on a brilliant summer's night
When all was still; the stars shone bright.
My wife lay still upon the bed
And I approached to her and said:
"Dear wife, here's medicine I've brought,
For you this day, my love, I've bought.
I know it will be good for you
For those vile fits,—pray take it, do."
She cast on me a loving look
And in her mouth the poison took;
Down by her infant on the bed
In her last, long sleep she laid her head.
Oh, who could tell a mother's thought
When first to her the news was brought;
The sheriff said her son was sought
And into prison must be brought.
Only a mother standing by
To hear them tell the reason why
Her son in prison, he must lie
Till on the scaffold he must die.
My father, sixty years of age,
The best of counsel did engage,
To see if something could be done
To save his disobedient son.
So, farewell, mother, do not weep,
Though soon with demons I will sleep,
My soul now feels its mental hell
And soon with demons I will dwell.
The sheriff cut the slender cord,
His soul went up to meet its Lord;
The doctor said, "The wretch is dead,
His spirit from his body's fled."
His weeping mother cried aloud,
"O God, do save this gazing crowd,
That none may ever have to pay
For gambling on the Sabbath day."