Examples of best man toasts, humorous wine toasts, praise of women toasts and more are suggested in selections from this book. Apparently, a knowledge of proper (and improper) toasts was once considered good manners.

Selected by Janet Madison

A man may drink, and no be drunk;
A man may fight, and no be slain;
A man may kiss a bonnie lass,
And aye be welcome back again.


To the Bachelor---who is always free!
To the Husband---who, sometimes, may be!
What will not woman, gentle woman, dare,
When strong affection stirs her spirit up!


They that drink deepest live longest.

All care to the wind we merrily fling,
For the damp, cold grave is a dead sure thing!
It’s a dead sure thing we’re alive tonight
And the damp, gold grave is out of sight.



To the soldiers of America. Their arms our defense, our arms their reward.
Fall in, men, fall in.

And the rose like a nymph to the bath addressed,
Which unveiled the depth of her glowing breast,
Till fold after fold, to the fainting air,
The soul of her beauty and love lay bare.


At all your feasts, remember too,
When cups are sparkling to the brim
That there is one who drinks to you,
And oh!, as warmly drink to him.

Blessings on old Raleigh’s head---
Though upon the block it fell---
For the knowledge he first spread
Of the herb I love so well!

Hang up love’s mistletoe over the earth,
And let us kiss under it all year round.
Come! fill a fresh bumper, for why should we go
While the nectar still reddens our cups as they flow?
Pour out the rich juices still bright with the sun,
Till o’er the brimmed crystal the rubies shall run.
The purple-globed clusters their life dews have bled;
How sweet is the breath of the fragrance they shed!
For summer’s last roses lie hid in the wines
That were garnered by maidens who laughed thro’ the vines.


Never a lip is curved in pain
That cannot be kissed into smiles again.

Bret Harte

Not to enjoy ones youth when one is young is to
imitate the miser who starves beside his treasure.
May those who enter the rosy paths of
matrimony never meet with thorns.
Divine in hookas, glorious in pipe,
When tipped with amber, mellow, rich and ripe;
Like other charmers, wooing the caress
Most dazzlingly when daring in full dress;
Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
Thy naked beauties---Give me a cigar.


May you live as long as you like
and have all you like as long as you live.
Woman: The fairest work of the Great Author;
the edition is large, and no man should be without a copy.
Fill the bumper fair;
Every drop we sprinkle
O’er the brow of care,
Smooths away a wrinkle.


Drink, and the world drinks with you;
swear off, and you drink alone.
For though they almost blush to reign,
Though love’s own flowers weave the chain,
Disguise the bondage as we will,
‘Tis woman,---woman rules us still!


From barest rocks to bleakest shore
Where farthest sail unfurls,
That stars and stripes are streaming o’er,---
God bless our Yankee girls!


“Go ask Papa,” the maiden said,
But the young man knew that her Papa was dead;
He also knew the life that her Papa had led,
And he knew what she meant when she said,
“Go ask Papa!”
God made the world---and rested.
God made man---and rested.
Then God made woman;
Since then neither God nor man has rested.
He said when first he saw me,
Life seemed at once divine,
Each night he dreamed of angels,
And every face was mine;
Sometimes a voice in sleeping
Would all his hopes forbid;
And then he’d waken weeping---
Do you really think he did?


Here’s to the wings of friendship…may they never molt a feather.


He told me the old, old story
Until I believed it true---
We married and then---
Any old story would do.
Here’s long life to the mother-in-law,
With all her freaks and capers,
For without our “dear old ma,”
What would become of comic papers?
When women love us, they forgive everything, even our crimes;
when they do no love us, they do not credit even our virtures.


Here’s to the Love that lies in Woman’s eyes,
And lies---and lies---and lies!
Here’s to the smoke that curls in the air,
Here’s to the dog at my feet;
Here’s to the girls that have gone before,---
God! But their kisses were sweet!
Here’s to woman, whose heart and whose soul
Are the light and the life of each spell we pursue;
Whether sunned at the tropics, or chilled at the pole,
If woman be there, there is happiness too.
He who loves not wine, woman, or song
Remains a fool his whole life long.
A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke.


Let us drink to the health of the bride,
Let us drink to the health of the groom,
Let us drink to the Parson who tied,
And to every guest in the room!
Oh, here’s to the good, and the bad men, too,
For without them saints would have nothing to do!
Oh, I love them both, and I love them well,
But which I love better, I never can tell!
May discretion preside over our cups.
On the table spread the cloth,
Let the knives be sharp and clean;
Pickles get and salad, both,
Let them each be fresh and green,
With small beer, good ale and wine.
O, ye gods! How I shall dine!
The hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the earth---
But the hand that holds four aces!---
Bet on it for all you’re worth.
The pretty girl who gets a kiss
And goes and tells her mother
Does a very foolish thing
And don’t deserve another.
The woods are full of fairies,
The sea is full of fish;
But the thing I want is a woman,---
And that’s a manly wish.
They say there’s microbes in a kiss,
This rumor is most rife.
Come, lady dear, make of me
An invalid for life.
Two-thirds of life is spent in hesitating, and the other third in repenting.
You may write it on his tombstone,
You may cut it on his card,
That a young man married
Is a young man marred.


counter easy hit

Return to Humor From Jokes, Toasts and Limericks from Toasts You Ought to Know