The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

The Poacher.

A Serious Ballad.

But a bold pheasantry, their country’s pride

When once destroyed can never be supplied.


Bill Blossom was a nice young man,

And drove the Bury coach;

But bad companions were his bane,

And egg’d him on to poach.

They taught him how to net the birds,

And how to noose the hare;

And with a wiry terrier,

He often set a snare.

Each “shiny night” the moon was bright,

To park, preserve, and wood

He went, and kept the game alive,

By killing all he could.

Land-owners, who had rabbits, swore

That he had this demerit —

Give him an inch of warren, he

Would take a yard of ferret.

At partridges he was not nice;

And many, large and small,

Without Hall’s powder, without lead,

Were sent to Leaden Hall.

He did not fear to take a deer

From forest, park, or lawn;

And without courting lord or duke,

Used frequently to fawn.

Folks who had hares discovered snares —

His course they could not stop:

No barber he, and yet he made

Their hares a perfect crop.

To pheasant he was such a foe,

He tried the keepers’ nerves;

They swore he never seem’d to have

Jam satis of preserves.

The Shooter went to beat, and found

No sporting worth a pin,

Unless he tried the covers made

Of silver, plate, or tin.

In Kent the game was little worth,

In Surrey not a button;

The Speaker said he often tried

The Manors about Button.

No county from his tricks was safe;

In each he tried his lucks,

And when the keepers were in Beds,

He often was at Bucks.

And when he went to Bucks, alas!

They always came to Herts;

And even Oxon used to wish

That he had his deserts.

But going to his usual Hants,

Old Cheshire laid his plots:

He got entrapp’d by legal Berks,

And lost his life in Notts.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55