Strangest thought came into my head today after I retreated from the heat and spent some time in the armchair with the latest installment in the Harry Potter saga.
Sort of an odd thought, but there's more there than it would seem on the surface. Not "Here's mud in your eye" and that sort of quasi-humerous watered down toast, not "I'd like to thank my parents for making this moment possible" (as though it was your parents who got your girlfriend pregnant, necessitating the marriage that you're now toasting and later rueing) but the manly statements warriors would make over a round of drinks before they went of on such manly endeavors as great quests, battles and the like. The truly great toasts have the dark edge of death, which certainly awaited many of those gathered, as well as the certainty that victory can be achieved through strength and perseverence.
Here's a good one:
Stand to your glasses, men
The world is full of lies
Here's to the health of the already dead
And here's to the next man to die.
This one's my favorite (so far). Being brought up Catholic I knew that the "proud and angry dust" is man. No matter how long I shall live, I'll always remember the words "Remember, man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return". Anyway:
The troubles of this proud and angry dust
Are from eternity and shall not fail
But bear them if we can
And if we can we must
So shoulder the sky lads
And drink your ale.
So just for a change of pace, a little amusement, whatever; lets see if we can amass a collection of warrior toasts.