Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

And now he bounded up and down,

Now like a jelly shook ;
Till bumped and galled—yet not where Gall

For bumps did ever look!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

A sorry mare, that surely can

came Of pagan blood and bone ; For down upon her knees she went

To many a stock and stone !

Now seeing Huggins' nag adrift,

This farmer, shrewd and sage, Resolved, by changing horses here,

To hunt another stage !

Though felony, yet who would let

Another's horse alone,
Whose neck is placed in jeopardy

By riding on his own?

And yet the conduct of the man

Seemed honest-like and fair ; For he seemed willing, horse and all,

To go before the mare!

So up on Huggins' horse he got,

And swiftly rode away, While Huggins mounted on the mare

Done brown upon a bay!

And off they set in double chase,

For such was fortune's whim, The farmer rode to hunt the stag,

And Huggins hunted him !

Alas! with one that rode so well

In vain it was to strive ; A dab was he, as dabs should be

All leaping and alive.

And here of Nature's kindly care

Behold a curious proof, As nags are meant to leap, she puts

A frog in every hoof!

Whereas the mare, although her share

She had of hoof and frog,
On coming to a gate stopped short

As stiff as any log ;

While Huggins in the stirrup stood

With neck like neck of crane,
As sings the Scottish song-“to see

The gate his hart had gane."

And, lo ! the dim and distant hunt

Diminished in a trice :
The steeds, like Cinderella's team,

Seemed dwindling into mice;

And, far remote, each scarlet coat

Soon flitted like a sparkThough still the forest murmured back

An echo of the bark !

But sad at soul John Huggins turned:

No comfort could he find; While thus the “Hunting Chorus” sped,

To stay five bars behind.

For though by dint of spur he got

A leap in spite of fateHowbeit there was no toll at all

They could not clear the gate.

And like Fitzjames, he cursed the hunt,

And sorely cursed the day, And mused a New Gray's elegy

On his departed gray.

Now many a sign at Woodford town

Its Inn-vitation tells :
But Huggins, full of ills, of course

Betook him to the Wells.

Where Rounding tried to cheer him up

With many a merry laugh : But Huggins thought of neighbour Fig,

And called for half-and-half.

Yet, spite of drink, he could not blink

Remembrance of his loss;
To drown a care like his, required

Enough to drown a horse.

When thus forlorn, a merry horn

Struck up without the door-
The mounted mob were all returned ;

The Epping Hunt was o'er !

And many a horse was taken out

Of saddle, and of shaft ;
And men, by dint of drink, became

The only beasts of draught.

For now begun a harder run

On wine, and gin, and beer; And overtaken men discussed

The overtaken deer.

How far he ran, and eke how fast,

And how at bay he stood, Deerlike, resolved to sell his life

As dearly as he could :

And how the hunters stood aloof,

Regardful of their lives, And shunned a beast, whose very horns

They knew could handle knives !

How Huggins stood when he was rubbed

By help and ostler kind, And when they cleaned the clay before,

How worse “remained behind.”

And one, how he had found a horse

Adrift-a goodly gray!
And kindly rode the nag, for fear

The nag should go astray;

Now Huggins, when he heard the tale,

Jumped up with sudden glee; “A goodly gray! why, then, I say,

That gray belongs to me!

“Let me endorse again my horse,

Delivered safe and sound; And gladly I will give the man

A bottle and a pound !”.

The wine was drunk—the money paid,

Though not without remorse, To pay another man so much

For riding on his horse ;

And let the chase again take place

For many a long, long yearJehn Huggins will not ride again

To hunt the Epping Deer !

MORAL
Thus pleasure oft eludes our grasp

Just when we think to grip her:
And hunting after Happiness,

We only hunt the slipper.

JACK HALL.
'Tis very hard when men forsake
This melancholy world, and make
A bed of turf, they cannot take

A quiet doze,
But certain rogues will come and break

Their “bone" repose.

« AnteriorContinuar »