The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

Shooting Pains.

“The charge is prepar’d.”—Macheath.

If I shoot any more I’ll be shot,

For ill-luck seems determined to star me,

I have march’d the whole day

With a gun — for no pay —

Zounds, I’d better have been in the army!

What matters Sir Christopher’s leave;

To his manor I’m sorry I came yet!

With confidence fraught

My two pointers I brought,

But we are not a point towards game yet!

And that gamekeeper too, with advice!

Of my course he has been a nice chalker,

Not far, were his words,

I could go without birds:

If my legs could cry out, they’d cry “Walker!”

Not Hawker could find out a flaw —

My appointments are modern and Mantony;

And I’ve brought my own man,

To mark down all he can,

But I can’t find a mark for my Anthony!

The partridges — where can they lie?

I have promis’d a leash to Miss Jervas,

As the least I could do;

But without even two

To brace me — I’m getting quite nervous!

To the pheasants — how well they’re preserv’d! —

My sport’s not a jot more beholden,

As the birds are so shy,

For my friends I must buy,

And so send “silver pheasants and golden.”

I have tried ev’ry form for a hare,

Every patch, every furze that could shroud her,

With toil unrelax’d,

Till my patience is tax’d,

But I cannot be tax’d for hare-powder.

I’ve been roaming for hours in three flats,

In the hope of a snipe for a snap at;

But still vainly I court

The percussioning sport,

I find nothing for “setting my cap at!”

A woodcock — this month is the time —

Right and left I’ve made ready my lock for,

With well-loaded double,

But ‘spite of my trouble,

Neither barrel can I find a cock for!

A rabbit I should not despise,

But they lurk in their burrows so lowly;

This day’s the eleventh,

It is not the seventh,

But they seem to be keeping it hole-y.

For a mallard I’ve waded the marsh,

And haunted each pool, and each lake — oh!

Mine is not the luck,

To obtain thee, O Duck,

Or to doom thee, O Drake, like a Draco!

For a field-fare I’ve fared far a-field,

Large or small I am never to sack bird,

Not a thrush is so kind

As to fly, and I find

I may whistle myself for a black-bird!

I am angry, I’m hungry, I’m dry,

Disappointed, and sullen, and goaded,

And so weary an elf,

I am sick of myself,

And with Number One seem overloaded.

As well one might beat round St. Paul’s,

And look out for a cock or a hen there;

I have search’d round and round,

All the Baronet’s ground,

But Sir Christopher hasn’t a wren there!

Joyce may talk of his excellent caps,

But for nightcaps they set me desiring,

And it’s really too bad,

Not a shot I have had

With Hall’s Powder renown’d for “quick firing.”

If this is what people call sport,

Oh! of sporting I can’t have a high sense;

And there still remains one

More mischance on my gun —

“Fined for shooting without any licence.”

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hood/thomas/poetical-works/poem156.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:51