Shooting Pains.

A poem by Thomas Hood

"The charge is prepar'd." - Macheath.


If I shoot any more I'll be shot,
For ill-luck seems determined to star me,
I have march'd the whole day
With a gun, - for no pay -
Zounds, I'd better have been in the army!

What matters Sir Christopher's leave;
To his manor I'm sorry I came yet!
With confidence fraught
My two pointers I brought,
But we are not a point towards game yet!

And that gamekeeper too, with advice!
Of my course he has been a nice chalker,
Not far, were his words,
I could go without birds:
If my legs could cry out, they'd cry "Walker!"

Not Hawker could find out a flaw, -
My appointments are modern and Mantony;
And I've brought my own man,
To mark down all he can,
But I can't find a mark for my Anthony!

The partridges, - where can they lie?
I have promis'd a leash to Miss Jervas,
As the least I could do;
But without even two
To brace me, - I'm getting quite nervous!

To the pheasants - how well they're preserv'd! -
My sport's not a jot more beholden,
As the birds are so shy,
For my friends I must buy,
And so send "silver pheasants and golden."

I have tried ev'ry form for a hare,
Every patch, every furze that could shroud her,
With toil unrelax'd,
Till my patience is tax'd,
But I cannot be tax'd for hare-powder.

I've been roaming for hours in three flats,
In the hope of a snipe for a snap at;
But still vainly I court
The percussioning sport,
I find nothing for "setting my cap at!"

A woodcock, - this month is the time, -
Right and left I've made ready my lock for,
With well-loaded double,
But 'spite of my trouble,
Neither barrel can I find a cock for!

A rabbit I should not despise,
But they lurk in their burrows so lowly;
This day's the eleventh,
It is not the seventh,
But they seem to be keeping it hole-y.

For a mallard I've waded the marsh,
And haunted each pool, and each lake - oh!
Mine is not the luck,
To obtain thee, O Duck,
Or to doom thee, O Drake, like a Draco!

For a field-fare I've fared far a-field,
Large or small I am never to sack bird,
Not a thrush is so kind
As to fly, and I find
I may whistle myself for a black-bird!

I am angry, I'm hungry, I'm dry,
Disappointed, and sullen, and goaded,
And so weary an elf,
I am sick of myself,
And with Number One seem overloaded.

As well one might beat round St. Paul's,
And look out for a cock or a hen there;
I have search'd round and round,
All the Baronet's ground,
But Sir Christopher hasn't a wren there!

Joyce may talk of his excellent caps,
But for nightcaps they set me desiring,
And it's really too bad,
Not a shot I have had
With Hall's Powder renown'd for "quick firing."

If this is what people call sport,
Oh! of sporting I can't have a high sense;
And there still remains one
More mischance on my gun -
"Fined for shooting without any licence."

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