The Hunter in His Career
Long ere the morn expects the return
Of Apollo from the ocean queen,
Before the croak of the crow and the break
Of the day in the welkin seen,
Mounted he'd halloo and cheerfully follow
To the chase with his bugle clear.
Echo doth he make and the mountains shake
With the thunder of his career.
Now bonny bay in his foine waxeth grey.
Dapple-grey waxeth bay in his blood.
White-Lady stoops with the scent in her chaps.
And Black-Lady makes it good.
Poor silly Wat his wretched state
Forgets these delights for to hear.
Nimbly she bounds from the cry of the hounds
And the music of their career.
Hills with the heat of the gallopers sweat
Reviving their frozen tops,
And the dale's purple flowers that droop from the showers
That down from the rowels drop.
Swains their repast and strangers their haste
Neglect when the horns they do hear,
To see a fleet pack of hounds in a sheet
And the hunter in his career.
Thus he careers over heaths over meres
Over deeps, over downs, over clay,
Till he hath won the moon from the morn
And the evening from the day.
His sport then he ends and joyfully wends
Home again to his cottage, where
Frankly he feasts himself and his guests
And carouses in his career.
[foine=skin. From about 1630. Reprinted in 1855 in W. Chappels, "Popular Music o
f Olden Time."]