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Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends.
These are some of the last lines of John Masefield's poem "Laugh and be Merry." Like the rest of the poem, they urge us to enjoy life for the short time that it lasts.
More specifically, these lines compare life to a group of "brothers akin" (people related to each other) who are staying together at an inn for a short time and enjoying the music and dancing that are available there. The poet urges these friendly people to "laugh and be merry together," and to be "glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends."
Mansfield is not exactly saying, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." He recognizes that we have responsibilities: to "better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong," and to "battle, and work." What Mansfield does urge is that we should go about our business with joy, because "God made Heaven and Earth for joy," and He filled the world "with the strong red wine of / His mirth [joy]."
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