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the poetry of fly fishing

hunting song

sir walter scott


Early morning hunt on the East Outlet of the Kennabec

Waken, lords and ladies gay,

On the mountain dawns the day;

All the jolly chase is here

With hawk and horse and hunting-spear;

Hounds are in their couples yelling,

Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling,

Merrily merrily mingle they,

‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’

Waken, lords and ladies gay,

The mist has left the mountain gray,

Springlets in the dawn are steaming,

Diamonds on the brake are gleaming;

And foresters have busy been

To track the buck in thicket green;

Now we come to chant our lay

‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’

‘Waken, lords and ladies gay,
To the greenwood haste away;
We can show you where he lies,
Fleet of foot and tall of size;
We can show the marks he made
When ’gainst the oak his antlers fray’d;
You shall see him brought to bay;
‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’

Louder, louder chant the lay,
Waken, lords and ladies gay!
Tell them youth and mirth and glee
Run a course as well as we;
Time, stern huntsman! who can baulk,
Stanch as hound and fleet as hawk;
Think of this, and rise with day
Gentle lords and ladies gay!

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