The Stable yard is silent, no equine friends, no ears twitching over the doors,
Where have they gone? They have gone to Europe to fight a war,
Will they be back to graze the summer pastures green?
Will they be back to see the autumn mist and hear hounds running?
Will they be back to enjoy the fifty minutes across the grass?
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They and their masters have gone to defend our freedom,
In mud and wire they toil, no end in sight,
But the thought of hounds running and their cry deep in their veins
Makes our horse and human friends dream, dream of
A cold winter’s night, hacking homewards with the moon up high.
This dreadful battle must soon be over, no more dust, no more artillery fire,
The guns shall fall silent, then it’s back across the sea to the land we love,
When the time will come again, to be harnessed to the plough
Or saddled fit and ready for a day, with the hounds,
A hundred years hence, let us just spare a thought,
Hounds still running, and running hard they are across the Vale below,
Imagine the pleasures of your equine steed, leaping that bullfinch clear and straight.
We can see you now! We can see you clearly from heaven above.
For we are at peace, peace in the knowledge as the fight to us came,
We took it on and gave our best,
To find a future, sadly we were not to see,
Time though is now for those with younger spirit to go off and play their part.
As the morning sun rises above the silver mist,
We hear a pack of foxhounds flying, and a holloa that chills the spine
Charlie has slipped from the covert and quickly gone away,
Then like shadows from the past,
Before our very eyes is a field of swift and gallant horses, galloping on the turf!
The guns of war are silent, our battles fought, our battles won,
The stables are full once more, with spirits old and spirits new,
Ears twitching again over stable bars, as always was their way,
And those dear hounds are singing, with heads held proudly high
And a note in their voice that says, we are here, and here we are to stay.
This was written by James Barclay and finished on Tuesday 19th August 2014, at approximately 6.30 in the morning. Twenty minutes later, the South Wold Hounds came up the drive on exercise.
It is dedicated to those who gallantly fought in the First World War and all Wars since, in defence of the freedoms that we enjoy so proudly today.