Lyrics of Lowly Life
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
"A Border Ballad"
- Year Published: 1913
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
- Word Count: 224
- Genre: Poetry
- ✎ Cite This
Dunbar, P. (1913). "A Border Ballad". Lyrics of Lowly Life (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved June 07, 2023, from https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/187/lyrics-of-lowly-life/3673/a-border-ballad/
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. ""A Border Ballad"." Lyrics of Lowly Life. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/187/lyrics-of-lowly-life/3673/a-border-ballad/>. June 07, 2023.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, ""A Border Ballad"," Lyrics of Lowly Life, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed June 07, 2023, https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/187/lyrics-of-lowly-life/3673/a-border-ballad/.
Oh, I have n’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.