On Merlin's mossgrown country lanes,
Through copse and rose-decked trellises,
Quietly trots a horde of spears,
Argent pennants, golden standards,
Saddlecloths of brazen color,
Flakes of plumes the branches powder.
A whippet pack scents out the trail,
A teasing tongue licks at the hooves
Of gentle palfreys delicate.
Tinkling laughter stirs ev'ry leaf
After the echo of men's strides,
The harnesses jingle gently.
And bannermen and armingers,
Pages, falconers and bowmen
Scout around to find their quarry:
Deeper still the standards flicker
A-sparkle in the coppices,
But silence darkens 'twixt the boles.
Fanned by the blowing of the horns
Every rose doth look on fire,
And crimson patches fool the pack.
Quietly the game escaped
And its slender horn blows worldly
Thro' the verses which were woven:
Meshed network of the magic sports,
Wherein the hunters were involved,
Before they strayed in the forest.