Here's to the Last to Die
words: Captain Darling
music: Trad. (RG Note. Variant on tune used for The Horn of the
source: Scottish Students Song Book c. 1892
We meet 'neath the sounding rafters,
And the walls around are bare;
As they echo to our laughter
'Twould not seem that the dead were there.
So stand to your glasses steady,
'Tis all we have left to prize.
Quaff a cup to the dead already
And one to the next who dies.
Who dreads to the dead returning,
Who shrinks from that sable shore
Where the high and haughty yearning
Of the souls will be no more?
Cut off from the land that bore us,
Betrayed by the land we find,
When the brightest have gone before us
And the dullest remain behind.
There's a mist on the glass congealing,
'Tis the hurricane's fiery breath
And 'tis thus that the warmth of feeling
Turns ice in the grasp of death.
There is many a head that is aching,
There is many a cheek that is sunk,
There is many a heart that is breaking,
Must burn with the drinks we have drunk.
There is not time for repentance,
'Tis folly to yield to despair,
When a shudder may finish a sentence,
Or death put an end to a prayer.
Time was when we frowned on others,
We thought we were wiser then;
But now let us all be brothers,
For we never may meet again.
But a truce to this mournful story,
For death is a distant friend.
So here's to a life of glory,
And a laurel to crown each end.