NOT long ago when we were dragging hounds
An old hound left the youngsters far behind him,
And wandered off beyond the paneled grounds.
I rode ten miles in vain, that day, to find him.
I failed to track him; but on brittle nights,
When not a cloud obscures the northern lights
And frost holds other creatures snug and still,
I hear his lonely baying in the hill.
Weary of phantom game and aniseed
His brave old heart yearns for ancestral habits,
And hungry, lean and cold, as fits his breed,
He roams in frugal freedom, hunting rabbits.