The ringing, hanging hen-roost thief-we have no use for him;
When they tear him up and eat him not a single eye grows dim;
But when a straight-necked traveller goes gallantly away
We grieve not if we lose him, for he’ll run some other day.
The loafing, skirting, loud-mouthed hound that hangs about your horse
The while his bolder comrades gather thorn-wounds in the gorse-
We care not if he stops a kick or ties himself in wire,
The leader running straight and true’s the hound of our desire.
Give me the fox that holds his point though fools and fate combine,
Give me the hound that follows him with nose upon the line,
The horse that never turns his head at fence or five- barred gate,
The man who has the needful nerve to cross a country straight!
And in the larger field of life let skirters stand aside,
Make way for those who want to work and those who dare to ride!
The only one who’s worth a place to risk a fall with fate
Is he who steels his gallant heart and rides his country straight.
William Henry Ogilvie