Sylvia Lynd: Hunting Song

The hunt is up! the hunt is up!
  It sounds from hill to hill,
It pierces to the hidden place
  Where we are lying still;
And one of us the quarry is,        5
  And one of us must go,
When through the arches of the wood
  We hear the dread horn blow.
A huntsman bold is Master Death,
  And reckless doth he ride,        10
And terror’s hounds with bleeding fangs
  Go baying at his side;
And will it be a milk-white doe,
  A little dappled fawn,
Or will it be an antlered stag        15
  Must face the icy dawn?
Or will it be a golden fox
  Must leap from out his lair,
Or where the trailing shadows pass
  A merry romping hare?        20
The hunt is up, the horn is loud
  By plain and covert side,
And we must run alone, alone,
  When Death abroad doth ride.
But idle ’tis to crouch in fear,        25
  Since death will find you out;
Then up and hold your head erect,
  And pace the wood about,
And swim the stream, and leap the wall,
  And race the starry mead,        30
Nor feel the bright teeth in your flank
  Till they be there indeed.
For in the secret hearts of men
  Are peace and joy at one.
There is a pleasant land where stalks        35
  No darkness in the sun,
And through the arches of the wood
  Do break, like silver foam,
Young laughter, and the noise of flutes,
  And voices singing home.        40

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