A Border Ballad

A Border Ballad
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of 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 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 work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.