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 yester-night,
    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.

This poem is in the public domain.