with Horse and Hound

To the Grey Hunter

paul brown.packandpaddockHere’s an excerpt from Tad Shepperd’s book of foxhunting and racing poems, Pack and Paddock, published by the Derrydale Press, New York, in 1938. Illustrated by Paul Brown, it was regarded by Derrydale founder Eugene Connett as one of his most handsome publications. Nine hundred-fifty copies were printed. The pages were gilt-edged on top and deckle-edged, untrimmed fore and bottom. The book was bound in red cloth with gilt lettering and boxed. Original price: $10.00.

Well did your sire know the feel
Of battling for the rail,
Of track dust flung from a driving heel,
Of thunder upon his tail!
Well did he know the cheering throng
That shivered the heaven's dome.
Well did he know the jockey's song,
In the desp'rate drive for home.
Well did he know the hail of mud,
The burn of the flaying goad.
For under his girth there pulsed the blood
Of the noble Roi Herode.

Aye, and well did your grandam know
The feel of the collar's brace,
The weight of the wagon, creaking, slow,
The tug of the leathern trace.
Wise your dam to the hazy sweep
Of the moorlands, lush and rich.
Well did she know the slide-and-leap
Of the Irish bank-and-ditch.
Wise to the horn's resounding skirl,
The hounds on the russet rogue.
Well did she know, "Hup-up, me gur-r-l!"
In a laughing Irish brogue.

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