The Hunter's Song

Please note:

With staff in hand, the hunter stood On Radholme's dewy lawn;
And still he watch'd, in anxious mood, The first faint streaks of dawn.
Faintly on Pendle's height they play'd, The thrush began to sing,
The doe forsook the hazel shade, The heron left his spring.

He turn'd him east - the Ribble there In waves of silver roll'd,
While every cloud that sail'd in air Just wore a tinge of gold.
There Waddow's meads, so bright and green, Had caught the early ray,
And there, through shadow dimly seen, Rose Clid'row's Castle grey.

He turn'd him west - and, hill o'er hill, Fair Bowland Knotts were seen,
Emerging from the mists that fill The winding vales between.
The thorns, that crown'd each verdant crest, Look'd greener to the eye,
While vistas, opening to the west, Display'd a crimson sky.

But most he turn'd where, 'neath his feet, The Hodder murmur'd by,
And yon low cot, so trim and neat, Still fix'd the Hunter's eye.
He gazed, as lovers wont to gaze, Then gaily thus he sang;-
From Browsholme-Heights to Batter-Heys The mountain echoes rang.

"Fair is my love, as mountain snow, All other snows excelling,
And gentle as the timid roe That bounds around her dwelling;
With other maids I oft have roved, And maids of high degree,
But none like her have look'd and lov'd - My Anna still for me!

When at her door she sits, to sing Some simple strain of mine,
The lark will poise him on the wing To catch the notes divine;
And when she speeds her love to meet Across the broomy lee,
The dew that sparkles round her feet Is not so bright as she.

Around the Fairy-Oak1 I've seen The gentle fairies dancing,
And, mounted light, in robes of green, O'er Radholme gaily prancing;
On moonlit eve I 've seen them play Around their chrystal well,2
But lovelier far than elf or fay Is Anna of the dell!

And still, though poor and lowly born, To me she's kind and true,
She flies the Bowman's3 tassel'd horn, She shuns the bold Buccleugh.4
Old Rose5 may rule by word and sign, By magic art and spell,
But what are all her charms to thine, Sweet Anna of the dell?"

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1 Now corruptly called Fairoak
2 The White Well
3 Parker, of Browsholme.
4 Chief Forester.
5 A noted witch of the time.