Paul Laurence Dunbar
A Border Ballad
OH, I haven't got long to live, for we all
Die soon, e'en those who live longest;
And the poorest and weakest are taking their chance
Along with the richest and strongest.
So it's heigho for a glass and a song,
And a bright eye over the table,
And a dog for the hunt when the game is flush.
And the pick of a gentleman's stable.
There is Dimmock o' Dune, he was here yesternight,
But he's rotting to-day on Glen Arragh;
'Twas the hand o' MacPherson that gave him the blow,
And the vultures shall feast on his marrow.
But it's heigho for a brave old song
And a glass while we are able;
Here's a health to death and another cup
To the bright eye over the table.
I can show a broad back and a jolly deep chest,
But who argues now on appearance?
A blow or a thrust or a stumble at best
May send me to-day to my clearance.
Then it's heigho for the things I love,
My mother'll be soon wearing sable,
But give me my horse and my dog and my glass,
And a bright eye over the table.
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Comments about this poem (A Border Ballad by Paul Laurence Dunbar )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 February 1970-)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
William Ernest Henley
(1849 - 1902)
(22 March 1941 -)
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