1 Slavery and death the cup contains;
Dash to the earth the poisoned bowl;
Softer than silk are iron chains
Compared with those that chafe the soul.
2 Spare, Lord, the thoughtless, guide the blind,
Till man no more shall deem it just
To live by forging chains to bind
His weaker brother in the dust.
Source: International Song Service: with Bright Gems from fifty authors, for Sunday-schools, gospel meetings, missionary and young people's societies, prayer-meetings, etc. #281
Slavery and death the cup contains. L. M. Sargent. [Temperance.] Mr. Nutter says in his Hymn Studies, &c, N. Y., 1884, p. 347. "This hymn was written during the Washingtonian Temperance Revival." It appeared in Adams and Chapin's Unitarian Hymns for Christian Devotion, Boston, U.S.A., 1846, No. 793, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. In the American Methodist Episcopal Hymnal, 1878, it begins "Bondage and death the cup contains." The author, Lucius Manlius Sargent (b. 1788, d. 1867) was an earnest advocate of Temperance, and the author of Temperance Tales, and other works.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)