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    With the Chiddingfolds

    by Arthur Conan Doyle
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    From Songs of Action (1898).

    The horse is bedded down
    Where the straw lies deep.
    The hound is in the kennel;
    Let the poor hound sleep!
    And the fox is in the spinney
    By the run which he is haunting,
    And I'll lay an even guinea
    That a goose or two is wanting
    When the farmer comes to count them in the morning.

    The horse is up and saddled;
    Girth the old horse tight!
    The hounds are out and drawing
    In the morning light.
    Now it's 'Yoick!' among the heather,
    And it's 'Yoick!' across the clover,
    And it's 'To him, all together!'
    'Hyke a Bertha! Hyke a Rover!'
    And the woodlands smell so sweetly in the morning.

    'There's Termagant a-whimpering;
    She whimpers so.'
    'There's a young hound yapping!'
    Let the young hound go!
    But the old hound is cunning,
    And it's him we mean to follow,
    'They are running! They are running!
    And it's 'Forrard to the hollo!'
    For the scent is lying strongly in the morning.

    'Who's the fool that heads him?'
    Hold hard, and let him pass!
    He's out among the oziers
    He's clear upon the grass.
    You grip his flanks and settle,
    For the horse is stretched and straining,
    Here's a game to test your mettle,
    And a sport to try your training,
    When the Chiddingfolds are running in the morning.

    We're up by the Coppice
    And we're down by the Mill,
    We're out upon the Common,
    And the hounds are running still.
    You must tighten on the leather,
    For we blunder through the bracken;
    Though you're over hocks in heather
    Still the pace must never slacken
    As we race through Thursley Common in the morning.

    We are breaking from the tangle
    We are out upon the green,
    There's a bank and a hurdle
    With a quickset between.
    You must steady him and try it,
    You are over with a scramble.
    Here's a wattle! You must fly it,
    And you land among the bramble,
    For it's roughish, toughish going in the morning.

    'Ware the bog by the Grove
    As you pound through the slush.
    See the whip! See the huntsman!
    We are close upon his brush.
    'Ware the root that lies before you!
    It will trip you if you blunder.
    'Ware the branch that's drooping o'er you!
    You must dip and swerve from under
    As you gallop through the woodland in the morning.

    There were fifty at the find,
    There were forty at the mill,
    There were twenty on the heath,
    And ten are going still.
    Some are pounded, some are shirking,
    And they dwindle and diminish
    Till a weary pair are working,
    Spent and blowing, to the finish,
    And we hear the shrill whoo-ooping in the morning.

    The horse is bedded down
    Where the straw lies deep,
    The hound is in the kennel,
    He is yapping in his sleep.
    But the fox is in the spinney
    Lying snug in earth and burrow.
    And I'll lay an even guinea
    We could find again to-morrow,
    If we chose to go a-hunting in the morning.
    If you're writing a With the Chiddingfolds essay and need some advice, post your Arthur Conan Doyle essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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