Once He Sat Upon My Knee

Once he sat upon my knee,
Looked from sweet eyes into mine,
Questioned me so wondrously,
Of the mysteries divine;
Once he fondly clasped my neck;
Press’d my cheek with kisses sweet;
O my heart! we little reck,
Where may rove the precious feet.

Save the boy, oh, save the boy!
To the rescue swiftly come;
Save the boy, oh, save the boy!
Save him from the curse of rum!

Once his laugh with merry ring
Filled our house with music rare,
And his loving hands would bring
Wreathes of blossoms for my hair;
Oh, the merry, happy sprite,
Constant, ceaseless source of joy;
But tonight, O God, tonight,
Where, oh, where’s my wand’ring boy. [Refrain]

Midst the glitter and the glare,
Of the room where death is dealt,
Scarce you’d know him, but he’s there,
He who once so rev’rent knelt,
At my knee, and softly spoke
Words into the ear of God;
O my heart, ’tis smitten, broke,
Crushed, I bend beneath the rod. [Refrain]

Oh, this curse that spoiled my boy!
Led him down and down to death;
Robbed me of my rarest joy,
Made a pang of ev’ry breath;
Mothers, fathers, hear my plea!
Let your pleadings pierce the sky,
Pray and work most earnestly,
Let us save our boys or die! [Refrain]