Here’s to the dawn of an autumn morn !
The cry of the hounds and the sound of the horn … Down in the river bottom mist
Before the rising sun has kissed
Away the dew on the pasture rise,
There, before our very eyes :
The halt ! the wait—a flick of his brush
And the russet prey departs, as the rush
Of hunting hounds with clamorous voice
Finds the scent and ends the choice :
To amble home or sit in the sun.
Discovered, now he has to run !
Now out of the woods and along the banks
of the river, gathering, closing ranks
The hounds stream on ; their chorus swells.
A whip beyond, in his irons, tells
With his cap aloft what the lead hounds say :
“Tally Ho !” and “Gone Away !” Then over the coop, horn in hand,
The scarlet figure of a man
Born to hunt and born to ride,
(Gathering speed with every stride)
Urging his hounds to hunt ’im hard,
His horse at a gallop with no regard
For fence or ditch or trappy ground,
His horn supports the flying hounds.
A gleam in his eye and a rebel yell !
As he passes even I can tell
It’s a good first day of this hunting year,
And Steve is grinning ear to ear !
Yes, here’s to the dawn of a hunting morn !
The cry of the hounds and the sound of the horn !
The woods and fields are silent now.
It makes you wonder if, and how
You’ll hunt again with hounds and horn
On some other autumn morn …
But one thing for sure I know
Before there is a hint of snow
Hounds will run and horn will blow …
For they are running … north of here …
And Steve’s grinning, ear to ear …