Always our fathers were hunters, lords of the pitiless spear,
Chasing in English woodlands the wild white ox and the deer,
Feeling the edge of their knife-blades, trying the pull of their bows,
At a sudden foot in the forest thrilling to ‘ Yonder he goes! ‘

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Safe for the space of a summer the cubs may tumble and play,
Boldly from April to August the dog-fox chooses his way;
But soon as the beech leaf reddens, soon as the chill wind blows,
He must steal, cat-foot, listening, ready for’ Yonder he goes! ‘

The sound of a horn in the bracken, the sound of a cheer in the ride;
Fourteen couple running for blood as though to the  brush of him tied!
Fourteen couple screaming for blood, and every hound of them knows
This is his right from the ages – the heart-stirring ‘ Yonder he goes!’

Not for the lust of killing, not for the places of pride,
Not for the hate of the hunted we English saddle and ride,
But because in the gift of our fathers the blood in our veins that flows
Must answer forever and ever the challenge of ‘Yonder he goes!’

William Henry Ogilvie

hounds hunting towards

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