The boy on the famous gray pony,
Just bidding good-bye at the door,
Plucking up maiden heart for the fences
Where his brother won honour of yore.
The walk to ‘the Meet’ with fair children,
And women as gentle as gay,–
Ah! how do we male hogs in armour
Deserve such companions as they?
The afternoon’s wander to windward,
To meet the dear boy coming back;
And to catch, down the turns of the valley,
The last weary chime of the pack.
The climb homeward by park and by moorland,
And through the fir forests again,
While the south-west wind roars in the gloaming,
Like an ocean of seething champagne.
And at night the septette of Beethoven,
And the grandmother by in her chair,
And the foot of all feet on the sofa
Beating delicate time to the air.
Ah, God! a poor soul can but thank Thee
For such a delectable day!
Though the fury, the fool, and the swindler,
To-morrow again have their way!
Eversley, 6th November 1872.