A little ray from a shaded light
A colour splash on a field of white
Too short a day and a damn long night

A wreath of pain and a faded laugh
A rotten stick for a pilgrim's staff
An ounce of grain and a ton of chaff

A glimpse of youth and a woman's eyes
A long, long look into starlit skies
Mere chips of truth on a stream of lies

A glass of 'hops' and a pint of lees
A year of toil and an hour of ease
Till the worker drops to his broken knees

Then voices flout from life's garden walls
And bedposts grin and the earthworm calls
And lights go out as the curtain falls

Say, will the bark that was tempest-tossed
Still flounder on when the bar is crossed
And night grows dark and the path is lost?

Ah! Cast my lot in the realms of mist
With friends I've loved near the lips I've kissed
For Hell's to hot for a pessimist

More verses by John Philip Bourke