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- Fear not thou to loose thy tongue ;
Set thy hoary fancies free: What is loathsome to the young
Savours well to thee and me.
Change, reverting to the years,
When thy nerves could understand What there is in loving tears,
And the warmth of hand in hand.
“ Tell mé tales of thy first love
April hopes, the fools of chance ; Till the graves begin to move,
And the dead begin to dance.
Fill the can, and fill the cup:
All the windy ways of men Are but dust that rises up,
And is lightly laid again.
“ Trooping from their mouldy dens
The chap-fallen circle spreads : Welcome, fellow-citizens,
Hollow hearts and empty heads!
“ You are bones, and what of that?
Every face, however full,
Padded round with flesh and fat,
Is but modell’d on a skull.
“Death is king, and Vivat Rex!
Tread a measure on the stones,
No, I cannot praise the fire
nor yet your lip: All the more do I admire
Joints of cunning workmanship.
“Lo! God's likeness — the ground-plan
Neither modell’d, glazed, or framed: Buss me, thou rough sketch of man,
Far too naked to be shamed !
" Drink to Fortune, drink to Chance,
While we keep a little breath! Drink to heavy Ignorance !
Hob-and-nob with brother Death!
" Thou art mazed, the night is long,
And the longer night is near: What! I am not all as wrong
As a bitter jest is dear.
“ Youthful hopes, by scores, to all,
When the locks are crisp and curl'd; Unto me my maudlin gall
And my mockeries of the world.
“ Fill the cup, and fill the can!
Mingle madness, mingle scorn!
Yet we will not die forlorn."
The voice grew faint: there came a further change: