The Poacher. - A Serious Ballad.

A poem by Thomas Hood

But a bold pheasantry, their country's pride
When once destroyed can never be supplied.
GOLDSMITH.


Bill Blossom was a nice young man,
And drove the Bury coach;
But bad companions were his bane,
And egg'd him on to poach.

They taught him how to net the birds,
And how to noose the hare;
And with a wiry terrier,
He often set a snare.

Each "shiny night" the moon was bright,
To park, preserve, and wood
He went, and kept the game alive,
By killing all he could.

Land-owners, who had rabbits, swore
That he had this demerit -
Give him an inch of warren, he
Would take a yard of ferret.

At partridges he was not nice;
And many, large and small,
Without Hall's powder, without lead,
Were sent to Leaden Hall.

He did not fear to take a deer
From forest, park, or lawn;
And without courting lord or duke,
Used frequently to fawn.

Folks who had hares discovered snares -
His course they could not stop:
No barber he, and yet he made
Their hares a perfect crop.

To pheasant he was such a foe,
He tried the keepers' nerves;
They swore he never seem'd to have
Jam satis of preserves.

The Shooter went to beat, and found
No sporting worth a pin,
Unless he tried the covers made
Of silver, plate, or tin.

In Kent the game was little worth,
In Surrey not a button;
The Speaker said he often tried
The Manors about Button.

No county from his tricks was safe;
In each he tried his lucks,
And when the keepers were in Beds,
He often was at Bucks.

And when he went to Bucks, alas!
They always came to Herts;
And even Oxon used to wish
That he had his deserts.

But going to his usual Hants,
Old Cheshire laid his plots:
He got entrapp'd by legal Berks,
And lost his life in Notts.

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