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A Vagabond is a wanderer. Some people call them tramps, but they like to travel the roads, never settling anywhere. This is important to understand if you want to understand this poem. I have given the meaning of every two lines.
Give me the life I love /Let the lave go by me
Means: Give me the kind of life I love to live and let the rest of the world pass me by.
Give the jolly heaven above/And the byway nigh me
Means: Give me the great outdoors where I can see the heavens, and give me the road beside me to travel.
Bed in the bush with stars to see/Bread to dip in the river
Means: Give me a bed outdoors where I can see the stars, and bread (may be stale) that I can dip in the river
There’s the life for a man like me/There’s the life forever.
Means: That is that type of life I want forever.
Let the blow fall soon or late,/Let what will be o’er me
Means: It doesn’t’ matter when I die, earlier or later. Whatever will be, will be.
Give the face of earth around/And the road before me.
Means: Give me the earth, the great outdoors, around me everywhere, and the road before me to travel.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love/Nor a friend to know me.
Means: I don’t need money, love, or even friends.
All I seek is the heavens above/And the road below me.
Means; All I want is the great outdoors and the road to travel.
Or let autumn fall on me/Where afield I linger
Means: Let the leaves of autumn fall on me wherever I may have stopped at that time
Silencing the bird on tree/Biting the blue finger
Means: As autumn changes to winter, the birds disappear, preparing for winter
White as meal the frosty field/Warm the fireside haven
Meaning: And when the fields are covered with snow, I will have a fireside shelter outdoors.
Not to autumn will I yield/Not to winter even!
Meaning: I will not allow autumn and winter to force me indoors.
The last stanza is the same as the second stanza.
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