R.N. Barr

In vain we scan the springs of human woe,
To find a deadlier or more cruel foe
To erring man, than this sad self-pollution,
This damaging wrecker of his constitution.

In its foul march it tramples vigor down,
Darkens the soul, usurps the mental throne,
Prays upon the vitals of its filthy slave,
And drags him early to a hopeless grave.
Could this truth to all be known and foreseen,
A sea of misery would be spared the world,
And hell's own engine from the land be hurled.

The fire of heaven on Onan quickly fell,
Cursed was the culprit ere he sank to hell,
Brief was the period 'twist the noxious deed
And the dread chastisement, pollution's meed.
Just as certain now as then, is the indulger undone,
Not by ethereal stroke as there we see,
Bur equal in effect and certainty,
For death results although by slow degree.

---Published in an 1855 issue of the
Ohio Medical and Surgical Journal.
(Submitted by David McNeil)

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