The Poetry Corner

The Stirrup Cup

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Come, drink a stirrup cup with me, Before we close our rouse. You 're all aglow with wine, I know: The master of the house, Unmindful of our revelry, Has drowned the carking devil care, And slumbers in his chair. Come, drink a cup before we start; We 've far to ride to-night. And Death may take the race we make, And check our gallant flight: But even he must play his part, And tho' the look he wears be grim, We 'll drink a toast to him! For Death,--a swift old chap is he, And swift the steed He rides. He needs no chart o'er main or mart, For no direction bides. So, come, a final, cup with me, And let the soldiers' chorus swell,-- To hell with care, to hell!