From the Jan./Feb. 2017 issue of Sporting Classics, originally published in the November 1899 issue of Outing magazine. Not already a Sporting Classics subscriber? Sign up today.


The yachtsman sings of the bounding waves

And a life on the deep blue sea—

Of a bark that bows to the crested surge,

And the breath of the ocean free.

But give me a dog that is keen of scent,

And a gun that is tried and true,

An autumn day when the dawn wind stirs,

And the woods that are steeped in dew.

There is the sport that is best of all,

In the light of the forest gray;

For what can excel the keen delight

Of hunting at break of day.

Let others sing of the trout that leap

From the pools in the rippling brook,

And the thrill of joy as the click-reel hums

When the “good ones” rise to the hook.

But sing me the song of the sylvan glades,

And the echoing rifle call,

As it rings out clear on the frosty air,

From brush by the old stone wall.

Ah, that is the song that I love best,

And a song that is sweet alway—

The song that breathes of the autumn woods—

Of hunting at break of day.