W3C The Hunt in the Lune, 1862   SONGS



It was the last week in August, I never shall forget,
At the bridge above Hornby our jolly pack met.
Two otters sealed up, and a livelier trail
Ne'er tried up a mountain or gladdened a vale.

You may talk while you will, but I'll stick to my tune,
That there ne'er was a hunt like that hunt in the Lune.

Not a sod, not a stone, but upon it they'd been,
Oh, list o'er the gravel bed, list o'er the green.
We scarcely could tell that our feet touched the ground;
Such glee, such enchantment, encircled us round.

When Arkholme was reached, we perceived by the pack
That the rogues from that point had turned cunningly back;
Little Venture then merrily creeps up a drain.
And out bolts her ladyship over the plain.

The bank here was rooty, the current was strong;
For fully three hours she scudded along,
We'd lost her awhile, and when trying up higher
The old boy himself was tallyho'd by the Squire.

Now this was no joke in such difficult ground,
For one got a rest when the other was found;
But as luck would have it, at last the old elf
Left his darling politely, to fend for herself.

To a snug hollow bank, half a mile down, he goes.
Where bravely he stands the assault of his foes,
Then right in the middle he comes up to vent;
With screams of excitement the mid-air is rent.

For the bridge next he darts, where we stood in a row;
He thought to have passed us, but found it "no go“;
Direct thro the bushes he sped
And rashly, but gallantly, fights through the pack.

Some time things looked gloomy, and many maintained
That the long deep below us he could not have gained;
But Rockwood, good hound, hits him ‘down in full cry,
And the huntsman exclaims: " He's gone by, he's gone by."

From willow to willow he slyly creeps now.
Then takes to the wood. What a crash! What a row!
For full twenty minutes he gives them a burst;
Into Lune, just before them, he tumbles head first.

Awhile now he puzzles both huntsman and hound.
Till by Condon and Leader far below he is found;
See there! Up at the open he vents and he gapes,
Nine couples close on him, yet still he escapes.

Once more through the covert, so rugged and thick.
He doubles, he dodges, he tries every trick;
They view him, they have him, they stick to him fast;
He struggles for life, and fights to the last.

We shook the old bridge with our cheers of delight;
We scarce had done cheering when, lo! It was night.
A more gallant otter was ne'er sealed upon sand,
Ne'er was a swim more merry, nor finish more grand.

At eight in the morning we threw off the hounds,
At eight in the evening the woo-hoop resounds;
Now, I'll give you a toast, since I've finished my tune:
" The hounds and Squire Lomax that hunted the Lune!"

* * * * * * *

The Hunt in the Hodder

Old Squire Lomax's dags I'd oft heerd um tell,
I bethout me one morning I'd see um mysell.
So I donn'd me, and reet off for Mytton dud trig,
Un I landed me just as they loased under th' Brig.

Cobbler wur theer, Carver wur theer,
Random and Rover, oud Pilot and aw.

Dean Ribble theer worrunt a smite of a touch,
Tho' th' dogs into every hoile they did thrutch;
But no soyner they turned up beside Hodder Foot,
When they fairly went crazy-like under a root.

Next upo' sum stoans, heaw they aw dud bud roor,
There nevur wor heerd sich norration afoor!
O'er annenst an owd brig, they med th' leaves for to fo
Yo'a thout they'd a fotten deawn th' arches un aw.

Up and deawn Moyser Wood, heaw they twisted un twined;
They'd a tarried while nea, if they'd had their own mind.
" Dus ta year out," cries Jim, us they rove up a brea —
" Houd ti tung, Mon," says I, " I'se i' Heaven just nea."

We then coom to a spot they coed Titty Wheel Nook,
When th' dogs reand a plane-tree scrats aw ov a rook ;
" He's yonder ! " sheats Squire, un we aw clustered throo-
Heaw legs, un heaw arms, un heaw water they flew

Chasing and fighting him, hard as he con;
Be sharp un seize howd ov a dog, every mon.
We had nobbut just decked um, un roven um back,
When the grey-headed maister croap eawt in a crack.

Away reet up Hodder he went wi' a lush,
Dogs belling like thunner cloise up to his brush,
When the Captasn skrikes eawt " Vent, a vent up aboon,
I known't iv I stood o' my head or my shoon."

We'd lost him a bit, he'd slipt dean Uke a treat,
But foasley owd Dashwood he soon inn him eawt
Up and dean a nice deep, then he wapped to un fro
But dogs alius at him soon med him to blow.

Next under a root he croap eawt for to rest.
But Venture soon followed him into his neast;
He geet a good kussing, when eawt they boath cums.
Eh, my ! Wod a din did make owd Jim o' Tuns.

Wi' lunging un plunging to th' Brig then he geet,
Weer slyly he managed to keep eawt o' seet;
'Till Rockwood he wakkened him squatted so snug,
Un Leader i' th' stream wi' him had a steat tug.

Next reet throo some bushes he cluntered ram sam.
Boughs craking, men sheating, eh, worrund it gam—-
He's nobbut afore um, 'beat length of his tail.
When aw ov a cluster dean Hodder they sail.

We swum him to Winckley, un theer he dud hoyle,
Bud a pick un a spade soon his harbour dud spoil;
Then he fought into Ribble, ay, reet throo the pack.
Thro foar on um once had him dean of his back.

They'd haggled him ill i' thad last bloody beawt.
After gaping awhile to a root, he croap eawt.
When Bowler reight sharply seized howd ov his heeod,
Un tother aw roave at him while he wor deeod

This otter whoas weight wor just twenty-four peands.
Two hears, forty minits wor hunted by th' heands;
Heer's luck to all th' pack, when they meeten next year.
May th' Captain, un me, un aw.us be theer.

* * * * * * *

Otter Hunting In Ribblesdale

Through yon little planting, by yonder streamside,
Where Ribble's sweet waters flow softly and wide,
While the dew's on the meadows it's up and away,
A-hunting the otter at break o' the day.

0 hear the glad music of horn and of hound;
0 hear how they welcome in day with the sound:
0 hear how the valley is loud with the strain
And the woodlands give answer with echo again.

Come rise up full soon, come rise up and go,
The mist's on the hill and the river runs low:
While the dew's on the meadows it's up and away
A-hunting the otter at break o' the day.

Now Ribble, sun-chequered, slides joyfully down
Which late thro' the bridges roared foaming and brown:
Now hot lies the scent, and the morning is still,
—Hark for'ard, good hounds, to a view and a kill!

A health to good fellowship fill we now high,
You true-hearted sportsmen afar and anigh,
Here's many a good chase when the morning is grey,
A-hunting the otter at break o' the day.

Notes from LANCASHIRE HUNTING SONGS AND OTHER MOORLAND LAYS, by Cicely Fox Smith, published by J E Cornish, Ltd, Manchester, UK, © 1909.

“Tis an Otter We’re Hunting Today”

When the fox lies secure in the thicket,
And the hare has forgotten the horn,
Good sport in the rivers
The otter shall give us
Who rise on a bright summer’s morn.
Mid the swift rivers eddy and spray
As we hear every hound
Make the echoes resound,
Tis an otter we’re hunting today.

Oh! I saw a hound mark at the pollard,
And heard a hound bay in the stream,
And its “Hey, tally ho!”
And “Look out below!”
And “Hark to the whipper-in’s scream!”
So we’ll fly to the horn and the holloa
Mid the swift rivers eddy and spray
As we hear every hound
Make the echoes resound,
“Tis an otter we’re hunting today!”

No rest the dark eddy affords him,
Keen eyes every hollow explore
Through the deep pool he glides,
O’er the shallow he slides,
Til he turns his last steps to the shore
Se we’ll fly to the horn and hello
Mid the swift rivers eddy and spray
As we hear every hound
Make the echoes resound,
Tis an otter we’re hunting today!”

Tis a race through the briars and the brushwood
As we hear the fierce melody rise.
Now he’s viewed at the bend
And game ot the end
In battle the veteran dies.
So we’ll fly to the horn and holloa
Mid the swift rivers eddy and spray
As we hear every hound
Make the echoes resound,
“Tis an otter we’re hunting today!”

F A Monckton, 1911

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