(A Lay of the Litany Bushes.)

The place – we all know it, the Romans before us did,
Totternhoe’s ramparts above it look down;
Hard by the outskirts of Dunstable town.
Never a gunshot disturbs its tranquillity.
Never a cur-dog its privacy mocks;
This takes us first rank as yet,
Never drawn blank as yet,
Haunt of the rabbit and home of the fox.
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The man – we all know him – how cheery his welcome
When meeting at Tilsworth we ride to the fray;
Still more familiar to many among us,
The view of his back when its ‘forrard away!’
Whether the line be for Leighton or Toddington,
Long hunting run or a ten-minute burst,
Timber or ditch it is,
Never mind which it is,
Bet you a fiver the Colonel * goes first!

This is the toast I would ask you to honour then –
You who love fences strong-growing and tall:
‘Dunstable’s vale and the man who has “made” it,
The man who can cross it the best of us all.
Eighteen times running we’ve found at the Litany –
Show me a record beats that if you can;
Covert well tended
And sportsman so splendid,
Then long may they flourish – the Place and the Man!

*Colonel Martyn Fenwick of Tilsworth.

George U, Robins


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