We have hustled that litter in Heatherlie Whin,
Two crouch in the bracken, two dodge in the corn,
But the fifth one as swift as the shadow of sin
Was away when he heard the first note of the horn.
He skimmed the broad meadow in front of us all
With his brush in the air and his mask to the moor,
Looking back with a grin from the top of the wall
Ere he dropped to the heather cool, safe, and secure.
His brothers and sisters will fall by the way;
They'll be harried and headed and chopped in a ride;
But this one will live for a galloping day
And lead us and pound us and scatter us wide.
Let him travel! – a good one. We’ll meet him again
When the fields in the dusk of December are dressed;
We shall need all our courage to follow him then,
When he steals o’er the open, a fox of the best.
William Henry Ogilvie