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The disenthralled.

he had bowed down to drunkenness,
     An abject worshipper:
The pride of manhood's pulse had grown
     Too faint and cold to stir;
And he had given his spirit up
     To the unblessed thrall,
And bowing to the poison cup,
     He gloried in his fall!

There came a change—the cloud rolled off,
     And light fell on his brain— [341]
And like the passing of a dream
     That cometh not again,
The shadow of the spirit fled.
     He saw the gulf before,
He shuddered at the waste behind,
     And was a man once more.

He shook the serpent folds away,
     That gathered round his heart,
As shakes the swaying forest-oak
     Its poison vine apart;
He stood erect; returning pride
     Grew terrible within,
And conscience sat in judgment, on
     His most familiar sin.

The light of Intellect again
     Along his pathway shone;
And Reason like a monarch sat
     Upon his olden throne.
The honored and the wise once more
     Within his presence came;
And lingered oft on lovely lips
     His once forbidden name.

There may be glory in the might,
     That treadeth nations down;
Wreaths for the crimson conqueror,
     Pride for the kingly crown;
But nobler is that triumph hour,
     The disenthralled shall find,
When evil passion boweth down,
     Unto the Godlike mind!

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