Poets of John Company/Three Hunting Songs





Over the valley, over the level,
Through the wide jungle we'll ride like the devil!
Hark! for'ard a boar! Away we go,
Sit down and ride straight, Tally-ho! Tally-ho!

He's a true-bred one, none of your jinking.
Straight across country, no time for thinking.
The nullah in front yawns deep as hell,
But the boar's gone through—we must go as well.

The ditches and banks are wide and steep,
The earth is rotten, the water deep;
The boldest horseman holds his breath,
But he must cross it to see the death.

Over we go, the game's nearly done.
The field is gaining, the race is won;
An arm upraised, then a dash, a cheer
And the boar has felt the deadly spear.

See how he flashes his fiery eye
Ready to charge, to cut and die;
A boar that will charge like the light brigade
Is the bravest brute that e'er was made.

Swiftly he rushes panting and blowing,
Swifter the life-blood torrents are flowing.
Game to the last with defiant eye
In silent courage he falls to die.

Gentlemen, I won't detain you a minute,
I hope every glass has got something in it;
Come fill them up with a bumper more,
Are your glasses charged? Mr. Vice, the Boar!


Over the valley and over the level
Through the wide jungle we'll ride like the devil.
There's a nullah in front and a boar as well;
Sit down in your saddles and ride like hell.


Pledge me woman's lovely face,
Beaming eye and bosom fair—
Every soft and winning grace,
Sweetly blended sparkles there.
Is there one whose sordid soul
Beauty's form hath ne'er adored?
From his cold lip dash the bowl,
Spurn him from the festal board.

Pledge me next the glorious chase,
When the mighty boar's ahead,
He, the noblest of the race,
In the mountain jungle bred
Swifter than the slender deer
Bounding over Deccan's plain,
Who can stay his proud career,
Who can hope his tusks to gain?

Pledge me those who oft have won
Tuskëd trophies from the foe,
And in many a famous run,
Many a gallant hog laid low.
Who, on Peeplah's steepy height,
And on Gunga's tangled shore,
Oft again will dare the fight
With the furious jungle boar.


Fill the goblet to the brim,
Fill with me and drink to him
Who the mountain sport pursues.
Speed the boar where'er he choose;
Hurrah! Hurrah! one bumper more,
A bumper to the grim grey boar!

Hark, the beater's shout on high!
Hark, the hunter's shrill reply!
Echo leaps from hill to hill,
There the chase is challenge still!
Hurrah! Hurrah! one bumper more,
A bumper to the sturdy boar!

Ride for now the sounder breaks,
Ride where'er the grey boar takes,
Struggle through the desperate chase,
Reckless death itself to face;
Hurrah! Hurrah! one bumper more,
A bumper to the fearless boar!

See, the jungle verge is won,
See, the grey boar dashing on!
Bold and brave ones now are nigh,
See him stagger, charge and die;
Hurrah! Hurrah! one bumper more,
A bumper to the fallen boar!