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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Philip Gilbert Hamerton 1834–94

The Wild Huntsmen

“WILD huntsmen?”—’T was a flight of swans,

But so invisibly they flew,

That in his mind the pallid hind

Could hear a bugle horn.

Faintly sounds the airy note,

And the deepest bay from the staghound’s throat

Like the yelp of a cur on the air doth float;

And hardly heard is the wild halloo

On the straggling night-breeze borne!

They fly on the blast of the forest

That whistles round the wither’d tree,

But where they go we may not know,

Nor see them as they fly.

With hound and horn they ride away

In the dreary twilight cold and gray,

That hovers near the dying day;

And the peasant hears but cannot see

Those huntsmen pass him by.

Hark! ’t is the goblin of the wood,

Rushing down the dark hillside;

With steeds that neigh and hounds that bay,

All viewless sweeps the throng.

And heavily where the fallow-deer feeds

Clatter the hoofs of their hunting steeds,

Like the mountain gale on the valley’s meads;

Till far away the spectres ride,

In distant lands along.