Disease was lurking in the cup!
Disastrous folly mantling there!
For promised joys he quaffed it up-
And his were ruin and despair!
Yes-so deceived he tasted first,
And fashion the delusion nurst,
Till with the texture of his life
It wove a warp of madness, agony, and strife.

The festive bowl!-to that he owes
Those drops of shame which now bedew
His burning brows-the hell of woes
His haggard spirit rushing through!
Young, innocent, he took the road
That leads to honor-s bright abode;
But joined, unwarned, upon the way
A bacchanalian troop-there stationed to betray.

Oh, could he but recall the past!
Oh, could he be what he had been!
The pearls of mental promise, cast
Away for riot-s joys obscene,
Could he reclaim! and knew his soul
To execrate, as now, the bowl-
That voice which sang to his brave youth
High hopes, and glorious aims, were still a voice of truth.

Oh what like self contempt can blast
The lofty hope, the wish refined?
In bitter mockery, at the -last
Infirmity of noble mind�
It laughs-a laugh in which despair
And wild defiance mingled are:
And not even madness can exempt
The votary of the bowl from grinning self-contempt.

Yet, could he but forbear to raise
The hellward-hastening draught again,
Time yet might quench the lurid blaze,
The fiery serpent in his brain!
Friendship might take his hand once more,
Fond love caress him as before;
And gentle peace, and comfort mild,
Smile on his future years, as on his youth they smiled.