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Songs of Action. Arthur Conan Doyle

Table of Contents:

1. 'Ware Holes
2. A Ballad of the Ranks
3. A Forgotten Tale
4. A Hunting Morning
5. A Lay of the Links
6. A Parable
7. A Rover Chanty
8. A Tragedy
9. Corporal Dick's Promotion
10. Cremona
11. H.M.S. 'Foudroyant'
12. Master
13. Pennarby Mine
14. The Blind Archer
15. The Dying Whip
16. The Farnshire Cup
17. The Franklin's Maid
18. The Frontier Line
19. The Groom's Story
20. The Home-coming of the 'Eurydice'
21. The Inner Room
22. The Irish Colonel
23. The Old Gray Fox
24. The Old Huntsman
25. The Passing
26. The Song of the Bow
27. The Storming Party
28. With the Chiddingfolds

′Ware Holes

A sportin′ death! My word it was!
      An′ taken in a sportin′ way.
Mind you, I wasn′t there to see;
      I only tell you what they say.

They found that day at Shillinglee,
      An′ ran ′im down to Chillinghurst;
The fox was goin′ straight an′ free
      For ninety minutes at a burst.

They ′ad a check at Ebernoe
      An′ made a cast across the Down,
Until they got a view ′ullo
      An′ chased ′im up to Kirdford town.

From Kirdford ′e run Bramber way,
      An′ took ′em over ′alf the Weald.
If you ′ave tried the Sussex clay,
      You′ll guess it weeded out the field.

Until at last I don′t suppose
      As ′arf a dozen, at the most,
Came safe to where the grassland goes
      Switchbackin′ southwards to the coast.

Young Captain ′Eadley, ′e was there,
      And Jim the whip an′ Percy Day;
The Purcells an′ Sir Charles Adair,
      An′ this ′ere gent from London way.

For ′e ′ad gone amazin′ fine,
      Two ′undred pounds between ′is knees;
Eight stone he was, an′ rode at nine,
      As light an′ limber as you please.

′E was a stranger to the ′Unt,
      There weren′t a person as ′e knew there;
But ′e could ride, that London gent -
      ′E sat ′is mare as if ′e grew there.

They seed the ′ounds upon the scent,
      But found a fence across their track,
And ′ad to fly it; else it meant
      A turnin′ and a ′arkin′ back.

′E was the foremost at the fence,
      And as ′is mare just cleared the rail
He turned to them that rode be′ind,
      For three was at ′is very tail.

′Ware ′oles!′ says ′e, an′ with the word,
      Still sittin′ easy on his mare,
Down, down ′e went, an′ down an′ down,
      Into the quarry yawnin′ there.

Some say it was two ′undred foot;
      The bottom lay as black as ink.
I guess they ′ad some ugly dreams,
      Who reined their ′orses on the brink.

′E′d only time for that one cry;
      ′′Ware ′oles!′ says ′e, an′ saves all three.
There may be better deaths to die,
      But that one′s good enough for me.

For mind you, ′twas a sportin′ end,
      Upon a right good sportin′ day;
They think a deal of ′im down ′ere,
      That gent what came from London way.

[1] ′′Ware Holes!′ is the expression used in the hunting-field to warn those behind against rabbit-burrows or other such dangers.

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