Bryan Waller Procter

(1787-1874 / England)

The Hunter’s Song


RISE! Sleep no more! ’T is a noble morn:
The dews hang thick on the fringed thorn,
And the frost shrinks back, like a beaten hound,
Under the steaming, steaming ground.
Behold, where the billowy clouds flow by,
And leave us alone in the clear gray sky!
Our horses are ready and steady.—So, ho!
I ’m gone, like a dart from the Tartar’s bow.
Hark, hark!—Who calleth the maiden Morn
From her sleep in the woods and the stubble corn?
The horn,—the horn!
The merry, sweet ring of the hunter’s horn.

Now, thorough the copse, where the fox is found,
And over the stream, at a mighty bound,
And over the high lands, and over the low,
O’er furrows, o’er meadows, the hunters go!
Away!—as a hawk flies full at its prey,
So flieth the hunter, away,—away!
From the burst at the cover till set of sun,
When the red fox dies, and—the day is done!
Hark, hark!—What sound on the wind is borne?
’T is the conquering voice of the hunter’s horn.
The horn,—the horn!
The merry, bold voice of the hunter’s horn.

Sound! Sound the horn! To the hunter good
What ’s the gulley deep or the roaring flood?
Right over he bounds, as the wild stag bounds,
At the heels of his swift, sure, silent hounds.
O, what delight can a mortal lack,
When he once is firm on his horse’s back,
With his stirrups short, and his snaffle strong,
And the blast of the horn for his morning song?
Hark, hark!—Now, home! and dream till morn
Of the bold, sweet sound of the hunter’s horn!
The horn,—the horn!
O, the sound of all sounds is the hunter’s horn!

Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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