'[Lay]1 me in a cushioned chair; Carry me, ye four, With cushions here and cushions there, To see the world once more. 'To stable and to kennel go; Bring what is there to bring; Lead my Lollard to and fro, Or gently in a ring. 'Put the chair upon the grass: Bring Rody and his hounds, That I may contented pass From these earthly bounds.' His eyelids droop, his head falls low, His old eyes cloud with dreams; The sun upon all things that grow Falls in sleepy streams. Brown Lollard treads upon the lawn, And to the armchair goes, And now the old man's dreams are gone, He smooths the long brown nose. And now moves many a pleasant tongue Upon his wasted hands, For leading aged hounds and young The huntsman near him stands. 'Huntsmam Rody, blow the horn, Make the hills reply.' The huntsman loosens on the morn A gay wandering cry. Fire is in the old man's eyes, His fingers move and sway, And when the wandering music dies They hear him feebly say, 'Huntsman Rody, blow the horn, Make the hills reply.' 'I cannot blow upon my horn, I can but weep and sigh.' Servants round his cushioned place Are with new sorrow wrung; Hounds are gazing on his face, Aged hounds and young. One blind hound only lies apart On the sun-smitten grass; He holds deep commune with his heart: The moments pass and pass: The blind hound with a mournful din Lifts slow his wintry head; The servants bear the body in; The hounds wail for the dead.
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1 alternatively, "Now lay"
- by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), "The Ballad of the Old Foxhunter", appears in East and West, first published 1889 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Brian Holmes (b. 1946), "Ballad of the Foxhunter" [high voice, horn quartet], from Three Hunting Songs, no. 2. [text not verified]
- by Charles Martin Tornov Loeffler (1861 - 1935), "Ballad of the Foxhunter", published 1935 [voice and orchestra], from Five Irish Fantasies, no. 4. [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2005-07-06
Line count: 48
Word count: 265