with Horse and Hound

Hard-Riding Dick

Rowland warburton smallThe author of this rather obscure poem was born in England in 1804. A landowner and nephew to the local baronet, he was known as the poet laureate of the Taporly Hunt, and indeed of the County of Cheshire. This hunting song, which coaxes the reader into a galloping rhythm, was selected by A. Henry Higginson, MFH, for inclusion in his 1930 collection, "As Hounds Ran." It’s a stirring hunting poem and a fine ode to a whipper-in. (My favorite stanza is Number IX.)

 

I
From the cradle his name has been ‘Hard-riding Dick,’
Since the time when cock-horse he bestraddled a stick;
Since the time when, un-breech’d, without saddle or rein,
He kick’d the old jackass along the green lane.

II
Dick, wasting no time o’er the classical page,
Spent his youth in the stable without any wage;
The life of poor Dick, when he enter’d his teens,
Was to sleep in the hayloft and breakfast on beans.

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