The Foxhounds Prayer

Cherish us for our courage
Instead of for our looks;
Look on us more as comrades,
And less as picture books.
Breed to the strains that serve you
The best throughout the chase;

Remember that your stewardship
Spells trustee to our race.
The duty now before you
Is not to mess us up,
And not go running riot
To gain some silver cup.
Condition us and feed us
as care’ly as you know,
So that no fox, however stout,
Can ever make us blow.

And don’t distract us Master,
When treading out of line!
Mistake no foxhound’s challenge
For silly puppy’s whine!
Your steaming horse keep from us,
Or we can’t feel the scent;
If to a holloa should you lift,
Show us which way he went.

Should roads be rough, or stony,
We’ll pick and choose out tracks;
Don’t let your eager servants
Drive us by their whip-cracks.
Lets lap a drop of water
When we have caught your fox;
And, when grown old in serving you,
Don’t leave us on the rocks.

You need but treat us kindly
And we’ll work hard for you.
Much more can we do for you,
Than you could ever do.
We’ll fairly catch your foxes
If you’ll but trust us;
And should we for an instant check,
Don’t fly into a fuss.

For, if you will but watch us
Until we’re beat at last,
When handle us you have to,
You’ll make a brilliant cast!
Your fame will spread as huntsman,
Your praise will go the rounds;
The reason being that we are
A clinking pack of hounds.

So don’t think Man’s a hunter!
It’s strictly a hounds game.
Hunters we are by birthright;
You are but one in name.
So if you never cheat us,
And always treat us well,
We’ll hunt your fox from Hanover,
into the depths of H–alifax!

We’ll fly straight to your halloo!
Or notes upon your horn.
The field will say, By jingo,
The finest huntsman born!
We’ll tell you now our secret
In whispers (not above):
It’s but our way of thanking you,
And shouting you our love.