I don't know any tune from any other,
I couldn't sing a song if I were paid,
I couldn't for the ransom of a brother,
Hum a single thing that anybody played.
But I know one melody
That can stir the heart of me-
It's the mad and merry challenge of the horn !
With the chime of hounds that follow,
And the cheer and rate and holloa
That can shake the very dewdrops from the thorn!
I couldn't make a fortune with a fiddle,
I scarce can sing a psalm-tune in a pew,
I couldn't lead a partner 'down the middle'
With a more than sporting chance of getting through.
I couldn't for my life
Play a cornet or a fife
And the flute was never any friend of mine;
But I do appreciate
When a yokel on a gate
Gives a holloa that can hold us to the line!
For everything is music when you hunt,
From the guttural ' Gar'r' on there!' of the Whip
To the' Tally-ho !' of someone up in front
Or the holloa of a herdsman in the dip;
The crash of post and rail
In a sort of running scale,
The thunder as the gallopers go by,
The ringing' For'ard on ! '
That is swallowed up anon
In the chorus of the pack against the sky !
So let others swear by Melba if they will,
By Crossley, Tetrazzini, and the rest;
I 'll be happy if I hear upon the hill
The voices of the ladies I love best-
The voices of a pack
Running hot upon his track,
And the cheer of one that saw the way he went!
When they hustle him along
Is there any grander song
Than the song of sixteen couple on a scent?
William Henry Ogilvie