William Henry Ogilvie

(21 August 1869 – 30 January 1963 / Kelso, Scotland)

English Grass


Come, horsemen all, from every field
And taste this rare delight,
And see what English pastures yield
To those whose hearts beat right!
Come, haste and quaff the stirrup-cup!
Turn down the empty glass!
The horn is blown, the hunt is up,
And here's our English grass!
And here are foxes swift to find
And fences strong to break,
And here are doubles steep and blind
That try the best to take,
And dappled hounds to keep in sight
And rivals you must pass
Before the long December night
Enshrouds the English grass!
And think it not a lightsome thing
Or feat to wake your scorn
To follow where the Pytchley swing
Or lead them with the Quorn ;
For men have hacked the mulga trail
And packed the mountain pass,
Yet found the boldest heart may fail
To ride the English grass.
The meadows stretch from stream to stream,
Close-bitten, firm, and sound;
No stubble stands, no plough man's team
Rips up the ravaged ground;
But level far as eye can see
Like smooth green-tinted glass,
A battle-ground for bravery,
Is spread the English grass.
Though thorns be thick, though binders lace,
Though stout be stile and rail,
Though nought but blood can live the pace,
And nought but pluck prevail,
The call's to all, the field is fair
To every creed and class;
So draw your girths, all ye who dare,
And ride the English grass!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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