Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Revel
 
Bartholomew Dowling (b. 182—)
 
 
East India
 
 
WE meet ’neath the sounding rafter,
  And the walls around are bare;
As they shout back our peals of laughter
  It seems that the dead are there.
Then stand to your glasses, steady!        5
  We drink in our comrades’ eyes:
One cup to the dead already—
  Hurrah for the next that dies!
 
Not here are the goblets glowing,
  Not here is the vintage sweet;        10
’T is 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:
A cup to the dead already—        15
  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.        20
Then stand to your glasses, steady!
  ’T is here the revival lies:
Quaff a cup to the dead already—
  Hurrah for the next that dies!
 
Time was when we laugh’d at others;        25
  We thought we were wiser then;
Ha! ha! let them think of their mothers,
  Who hope to see them again.
No! stand to your glasses, steady!
  The thoughtless is here the wise:        30
One 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, ’midst the wine-cup’s sparkles,        35
  As mute as the wine we drink.
Come stand to your glasses, steady!
  ’T is this that the respite buys:
A cup to the dead already—
  Hurrah for the next that dies!        40
 
There ’s a mist on the glass congealing,
  ’T is the hurricane’s sultry breath;
And thus does the warmth of feeling
  Turn ice in the grasp of Death.
But stand to your glasses, steady!        45
  For a moment the vapor flies:
Quaff a cup to the dead already—
  Hurrah for the next that dies!
 
Who dreads to the dust returning?
  Who shrinks from the sable shore,        50
Where the high and haughty yearning
  Of the soul can sting no more?
No, stand to your glasses, steady!
  The world is a world of lies:
A cup to the dead already—        55
  And hurrah for the next that dies!
 
Cut off from the land that bore us,
  Betray’d by the land we find,
When the brightest have gone before us,
  And the dullest are most behind—        60
Stand, stand to your glasses, steady!
  ’T is all we have left to prize:
One cup to the dead already—
  Hurrah for the next that dies!
 

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