When the last fence looms up, I am ready
And I hope when the rails of it crack
There'll be nothing in front but the Master,
The huntsman, the fox, and the pack;
And I hope when fate bids me go under
In this last of my manifold spills,
That we're riding the line of a hill fox
With half a mile start to his hills.
I hope that last fence is a stiff one;
I hope, for the sake of our name,
They may say, ' If the task was beyond them
They both of them went at it game! '
And when the white girths flash above me,
And darkness comes down on the field,
Let them carry me home on a hurdle
As the Spartan went home on his shield.
And when I am out of the running
Let the good men go on with the pack;
I would not one comrade should falter,
I would not one friend should turn back;
And whether it be on the grass-land,
The hill-side, the heath or the loam,
Let the gallant ones keep going for'ard-
The slow ones can carry me home.
Let them bury me down in the churchyard,
But lay my good horse where he fell;
When the ditches are blind in the autumn
Some friend may remember and tell,
While under the thong of the west wind
The day-nettle trembles and stirs:
'Twas from here that a horseman undaunted
Went Home in his boots and his spurs.'
William Henry Ogilvie