- 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
Dunbar, P. (1913). "A Border Ballad". Lyrics of Lowly Life (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved June 24, 2021, from
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. ""A Border Ballad"." Lyrics of Lowly Life. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <>. June 24, 2021.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, ""A Border Ballad"," Lyrics of Lowly Life, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed June 24, 2021,.
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.