Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
The Stirrup Cup
Come, drink a stirrup cup with me,
Before we close our rouse.
You 're all aglow with wine, I know:
The master of the house,
Unmindful of our revelry,
Has drowned the carking devil care,
And slumbers in his chair.
Come, drink a cup before we start;
We 've far to ride to-night.
And Death may take the race we make,
And check our gallant flight:
But even he must play his part,
And tho' the look he wears be grim,
We 'll drink a toast to him!
For Death,--a swift old chap is he,
And swift the steed He rides.
He needs no chart o'er main or mart,
For no direction bides.
So, come, a final, cup with me,
And let the soldiers' chorus swell,--
To hell with care, to hell!
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