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“ Breathes there a man with soul so dead,” or tame,
As not to feel that SPORTING has its fame?
“ There is a land of every land the pride,”
Where thousands think it “ fame " a steed to stride ;
Where but to sport a gun or own a tit*
Into a Gentleman transforms a Cit.
“ Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found ?
Art thou a man ?”-a Sportsman ?......“ Look around !”
Nor long thine eyes nor long thy fancy strain,
But say—I spy the land— tis gay CockAIGNE.
There, to have been at Epping is a thing
That serves to talk about from Spring to Spring :
There, to have fired a gun on Shooter's Hill,
And of a wren or robin “made a kill,”
Is one great era, makes a grand “ to do,"
And forms a standing theme like Waterloo :
There, to have met and hunted with the QUORN,
Have seen a living fox, and heard a horn,
Is one great deathless deed of glory done,
Which Cockney sire transmits to Cockney son!!
This had Dick gain’d, but gain'd, alas ! with this
Some gibes and jokes he fondly hoped to miss.
His stud scarce tried_his wines untasted still
His crosses manifold-his honors nil!
“ Go thus ? no, no; the Belvoir shall be tried,
" I'll shew the Sporting World Dunn SNAGgs can ride."
Theme of all Bards ! rose-finger'd sweet Aurora!
Dyer of Heav'n art thou (on Earth we've Flora)! * A great, but certainly unfounded, objection has been raised against this pretty little word, which won't do at all“ for ears polite." Classics won't forget its high origin--doubtless it comes from ιππος»
K VOL. XIX. SECOND SERIES.No. 110.
Who has not worshipp'd at thy rosy shrine,
And deem'd thee not ideal, but divinc ?
And most, when journeying to the Hunters' meet,
Who has not held with thee communion sweet ?
And seen thy chariot in the glowing sky,
And almost stopp'd to watch thy steeds sweep by?
Bright, brief, and beautiful, like all we prize,
Is thy fair picture painted on the skies :
Yet there it is, to Poet's eye at leastmo
My own have view'd it in the glowing East,
Car, goddess, steeds, and flowers, as well defined
As Juno ever was, on clouds reclined,
The sight as visible, the sound as clear
As Gabriel's hounds to wond'ring peasants' ear*.
Such was the morn when Snaggs pursued his way
To meet the Belvoir on his gallant grey.
Saw he such sights ? alas ! to Cockney eye
Cloudland is smoke, and sky is only sky.
Not he! no rural sights or sounds can please
A mind dissatisfied and ill at ease.
Onward he goes, and grumbles as he goes :
No rustic Hebes hanging out the clothes,
No cozy cottage, and no cheerful farm
His Cockney heart or eye can cheer or charm.
He twists his fingers in his courser's mane,
And then untwists, and twists, and twirls again.
The meet was CROXTON Park, and such a Field
As but one country in the world can yield :
The graceful Granby, lover of the Nine, .
The young lulus of the Rutland line ;
And round the pack a group of Sportsmen keen-
The dauntless Gilmour, and the gallant GREENE,
MACDONALD, and romantic Howth,
And honor'd Wilton-Diomed to both;
And merry MARTIN, and Milesian Mahre,
And much-prized ERRINGTON, and careful Carre,
And steady STANLEY, and well-whisker'd WHITE,
And generous RANCLIFFE, and poetic WRIGHT,
And MUSGRAVE, DESART, Cranstoun, and Kinnaird,
Sir FREDERICK JOHNstone, and Sir David BAIRD;
* Gabriel's Hounds. A very ancient tradition obtains in the Midland Counties, that a Sunday Sportsman of this name was taken off superas in auras with his whole pack there to hunt till the day of doom. The unaccountable sounds, sometimes called the music of the spheres, heard on clear calm nights, are always called by the wondering rustics “Gabriel's Hounds."
And last, but greatest in our Field of Fame,
The FORESTER, in nature as in name ;
And Russian, Prussian Princes by the score,
And Counts who never saw a field before.
There too was SHE, whose grace of form and mien
Has shed a charm o'er many a hunting scene-
Sue, whose sweet smile, I once heard Gr say,
Made rich amends for many an else blank day-
The fair DIE VERNON of the midland vale,
Fair as the heroine of Scott's sweetest Tale.
And who was she ? asks every one who reads
Not he who hunts such information needs.
But hark the music booming from the gorse !
And list the hunters' signal sound “to horse !"
And soon are Waltham, Scalford, Goadby past,
And Dick has gain'd his wonted place—the last.
He “laned it” for a mile or two right well,
Dash'd at a crazy stile at length, and fell.
But, as Will Shakspeare said, “the more the dirt,
The less the honor, and the less the hurt !"
Up and away. The next dilemma found
Our Hero fast secured in village pound.
Not looking ere he leapt, he took the hedge
That screen'd from view the pinfold's stony ledge.
Lock'd was the gate for trespassers within
A roaring Jack-ass and his shaggy Jin-
Who haild Dick's entrance with that sweet salute
With which a donkey hails his brother brute.
“ I'm trapp'd !” cried Dick ; “ I'm fairly caught and caged,”
(While Jack and Jin in concert sweet engaged :
Yee-haw ! yee-haw ! in one long drawling roar-
Such bass and treble Snob ne'er heard before).
He tried in vain the pinfold lock to force,
Climbid o'er the gate at last, and left his horse.
He sought the Pindar (plague him !) to unlock it
Pindar was out, and key was in his pocket.
An hour had Dick been prisoner, when again
He sees the Field come trotting up the lane.
Close to the wall his startled steed he drew,
And close to wall our Hero squatted too,
In hopes, no doubt, his luckless state to hide.
Alas! Sir Fred“ the imprison'd huntsman” spied !
The rest around the wall soon form'd a ring,
As Scotia's Chieftains form’d around their King.