My Woodcock

by Patrick Chalmers

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Shooting|September 2023

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

Shooting|September 2023

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