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The Old Gray Fox


From Songs of Action (1898).



We started from the Valley Pride,
And Farnham way we went.
We waited at the cover-side,
But never found a scent.
Then we tried the withy beds
Which grow by Frensham town,
And there we found the old gray fox,
The same old fox,
The game old fox;
Yes, there we found the old gray fox,
Which lives on Hankley Down.
So here's to the master,
And here's to the man!
And here's to twenty couple
Of the white and black and tan!
Here's a find without a wait!
Here's a hedge without a gate!
Here's the man who follows straight,
Where the old fox ran.

The Member rode his thoroughbred,
Doctor had the gray,
The Soldier led on a roan red,
The Sailor rode the bay.
Squire was there on his Irish mare,
And Parson on the brown;
And so we chased the old gray fox,
The same old fox,
The game old fox,
And so we chased the old gray fox
Across the Hankley Down.
So here's to the master,
And here's to the man!
&c. &c. &c.

The Doctor's gray was going strong
Until she slipped and fell;
He had to keep his bed so long
His patients all got well.
The Member he had lost his seat,
'Twas carried by his horse;
And so we chased the old gray fox,
The same old fox,
The game old fox;
And so we chased the old gray fox
That earthed in Hankley Gorse.
So here's to the master,
And here's to the man!
&c. &c. &c.

The Parson sadly fell away,
And in the furze did lie;
The words we heard that Parson say
Made all the horses shy!
The Sailor he was seen no more
Upon that stormy bay;
But still we chased the old gray fox,
The same old fox,
The game old fox;
Still we chased the old gray fox
Through all the winter day.
So here's to the master,
And here's to the man!
&c. &c. &c.

And when we found him gone to ground,
They sent for spade and man;
But Squire said 'Shame! The beast was game!
A gamer never ran!
His wind and pace have gained the race,
His life is fairly won.
But may we meet the old gray fox,
The same old fox,
The game old fox;
May we meet the old gray fox
Before the year is done.
So here's to the master,
And here's to the man!
And here's to twenty couple
Of the white and black and tan!
Here's a find without await!
Here's a hedge without a gate!
Here's the man who follows straight,
Where the old fox ran.


Arthur Conan Doyle