I stood in the ride, and the glamour
Of autumn was gold on the trees,
While far away beaters faint clamour
Was borne on a whispering breeze,
When the voices that came through the cover
With the tapping of stick upon stock,
Rang out with a roar "woodcock over!
Cock forward! Mark cock!"
Like a leaf of last year that is lifted
When March is in maddest of moods,
Through the tops of the beeches he drifted,
A little brown ghost of the woods:
Bombarded wih passionate vigour,
He lazily dodged down the line,
And I knew, as I pressed on the trigger,
I knew he was mine!
My pulses may fade and grow duller,
My eye-sight may weaken, but still
I shall see the soft pinion's warm colour,
The length of that insolent bill:
And, 'til age leaves me withered and one-eyed
At the ultimate end of my road,
I shall hear the click-click of the gun I'd
Omitted to load!
Patrick Chalmers. 1921
Painting by Claire Brownlow available to buy. Tel: 07768 619777
Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on