Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
583. Dum Vivimus Vigilemus
By Charles Henry Webb
TURN out more ale, turn up the light;
I will not go to bed to-night.
Of all the foes that man should dread
The first and worst one is a bed.
Friends I have had both old and young,        5
And ale we drank and songs we sung:
Enough you know when this is said,
That, one and all,—they died in bed.
  In bed they died and I ’ll not go
  Where all my friends have perished so.        10
  Go you who glad would buried be,
  But not to-night a bed for me.
For me to-night no bed prepare,
But set me out my oaken chair.
And bid no other guests beside        15
The ghosts that shall around me glide;
In curling smoke-wreaths I shall see
A fair and gentle company.
Though silent all, rare revellers they,
Who leave you not till break of day.        20
  Go you who would not daylight see,
  But not to-night a bed for me:
  For I ’ve been born and I ’ve been wed—
  All of man’s peril comes of bed.
And I ’ll not seek—whate’er befall—        25
Him who unbidden comes to all.
A grewsome guest, a lean-jawed wight—
God send he do not come to-night!
But if he do, to claim his own,
He shall not find me lying prone;        30
But blithely, bravely, sitting up,
And raising high the stirrup-cup.
  Then if you find a pipe unfilled,
  An empty chair, the brown ale spilled;
  Well may you know, though naught be said,        35
  That I ’ve been borne away to bed.


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