by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931)

The foxhunt
Language: English 
The first morning of March in the year '33,
There was frolic and fun in our own country;
The King's County Hunt over meadows and rocks,
Most nobly set out in the search of a fox.
  [Hullahoo ! harkaway ! hullahoo ! harkaway!
  Hullahoo ! harkaway, boys ! away, harkaway!]1

When they started bold Reynard he faced Tullamore,
Through Wicklow and Arklow along the sea-shore;
There he brisked up his brush with a laugh, and says he,
"'Tis mighty refreshing this breeze from the sea."
  Hullahoo! harkaway ! hullahoo ! harkaway!
  Hullahoo ! harkaway, boys! away, harkaway!

With the hounds at his heels every inch of the way,
He led us by sunset right into Roscrea;
Here he ran up a chimney and out of the top
The rogue he cried out for the hunters to stop
  From their loud harkaway ! hullahoo ! harkaway!
  Hullahoo ! harkaway, boys ! away, harkaway! 

"'Twas a long thirsty stretch since we left the sea-shore,
But, lads, here you've gallons of claret galore;
Myself will make free just to slip out of view,
And take a small pull at my own mountain dew."
  So no more hullahoo ! hullahoo ! harkaway!
  Hullahoo! harkaway, boys ! away harkaway!

One hundred and twenty good sportsmen went down,
And sought him from Ballyland through Ballyboyne;
We swore that we'd watch him the length of the night,
So Reynard, sly Reynard, lay hid till the light.
  Hullahoo ! harkaway ! hullahoo ! harkaway!
  Hullahoo ! harkaway, boys ! away, harkaway!

But the hills they re-echoed right early next morn
With the cry of the hounds and the call of the horn,
And in spite of his action, his craft, and his skill,
Our fine fox was taken on top of the hill.
  Hullahoo ! harkaway ! hullahoo ! harkaway I
  Hullahoo ! harkaway, boys ! away, harkaway!

When Reynard he knew that his death was so nigh,
For pen, ink and paper he called with a sigh:
And all his dear wishes on earth to fulfil,
With these few dying words he declared his last will,
  While we ceased harkaway ! hullahoo ! harkaway!
  Hullahoo ! harkaway, boys ! away, harkaway!

"Here's to you, Mr. Casey, my Curraghmore estate,
And to you, young O'Brien, my money and plate,
And to you, Thomas Dennihy, my whip, spurs, and cap,
For no leap was so cross that you'd look for a gap."
  And of what he made mention they found it no blank,
  For he gave them a cheque on the National Bank.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Stanford: "Tally-ho! harkaway! Tally-ho! harkaway! / Tally-ho! harkaway, my boys! away, harkaway!", passim.


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-05-16
Line count: 48
Word count: 425