Treasure Island

Ogden Nash

(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971 / New York / United States)

The Solitary Huntsman


The solitary huntsman
No coat of pink doth wear,
But midnight black from cap to spur
Upon his midnight mare.
He drones a tuneless jingle
In lieu of tally-ho:
“I’ll catch a fox
And put him in a box
And never let him go.”

The solitary huntsman,
He follows silent hounds.
No horn proclaims his joyless sport,
And never a hoofbeat sounds.
His hundred hounds, his thousands,
Their master’s will they know:
To catch a fox
And put him in a box
And never let him go.

For all the fox’s doubling
They track him to his den.
The chase may fill a morning,
Or threescore years and ten.
The huntsman never sated
Screaks to his saddlebow,
“I’ll catch another fox
And put him in a box
And never let him go.”

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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