Bluegrass Ballads

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130                        OTHER VERSE
And seized the boy, amid the joy
And lustre of his fame. The wanton demon dashed the drink
With poverty and dread, And drove the youth to ruin's brink—
The singing troop had fled.
With leers and limps, the comrade imps,
In howl, and grin, and yell, Tore at his soul, his manhood stole,
And dipped him deep in hell. 'Mid horrors that no mortal tongue
Could ever tell aright, They dragged his life and, screaming, flung
His honor into night.
The tiger's cub was gentle, and it played with a
little child; Its feet were velvet cushions, and its brown eyes
meek and mild. The changes came so softly that its playmate
had not seen The cruel claws in velvet, and the brown eyes
glinting green. The child is lying, mangled, in the fierce and
reeking jaws, For the tiger's cub has torn him, 'neath the
velvet-hidden claws.