Poets of John Company/Indian Revelry

WILLIAM FRANCIS THOMPSON.

1808—1842.

Indian Revelry.

We meet 'neath the sounding rafter.
And the walls around are bare,
As they shout to our peals of laughter,
It seems that the dead are there;
So stand to your glasses! steady!
We drink in our comrades' eyes;
A cup to the dead already—
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

Not here are the goblets glowing,
Not here is the vintage sweet;
'Tis cold, as our hearts are growing.
And dark, as the doom we meet.
But stand to your glasses! steady!
And soon shall our pulses rise;
Here's a cup to the dead already—
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

There's many a hand that's shaking,
And many a cheek that's sunk;
But soon, though our hearts are breaking.
They'll burn with the wine we've drunk.
So stand to your glasses! steady!
'Tis here the revival lies;
A cup to the dead already!
And hurrah! for the next that dies.


Time was when we frowned at others.
We thought we were wiser then;
Ha! Ha! let them think of their mothers
Who hope to see them again:
Ho! stand to your glasses! steady!
The thoughtless are here the wise;
Here's a cup to the dead already—
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

Not a sigh for the lot that darkles,
Not a tear for the friends that sink;
We'll fall, 'mid the wine cup's sparkles;
As mute as the wine we drink:
Come stand to your glasses! steady!
'Tis this that the respite buys;
Quaff a cup to the dead already—
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

There's mist on the glass congealing—
'Tis the hurricane's fiery breath;
And thus does the warmth of feeling
Turn ice in the grasp of death:
But stand to your glasses! steady!
For a moment the vapour flies;
Here's a cup to the dead already—
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

Who dreads to the dust returning?
Who shrinks from the sable shore,
Where the high and haughty yearning
Of the soul shall sting no more?
No! stand to your glasses! steady!
The world is a world of lies:
A cup to the dead already,
And hurrah! for the next that dies.


Cut off from the land that bore us,
Betrayed by the land we find,
When the brightest have gone before us.
And the dullest remain behind;
Stand! stand! to your glasses! steady!
'Tis all we have left to prize;
One cup to the dead already—
Hurrah! for the next that dies.