The Black Fox (Hunting the Devil)

The Black Fox (Hunting the Devil)

Graham Pratt 1980

As we were out a-hunting One morning in the Spring,

Both the hounds and the horses running well made the hills and valleys ring.

But to our great misfortune No fox there could be found

The huntsmen cursed and swore, but still No fox moved over the ground.

 

Then up spoke our master huntsman, At the head of hounds rode he,

“Well lo we have ridden for a full three hours But no fox have we seen”

“And there his scents did lead me And I shall have my chase

And if only the Devil himself come by I’d run him such a race”.

 

Then up there sprang like lightning A fox from out his hole

His fur was the colour of a starless night His eyes like burning coal.

And we chased him over the valley and we chased him over the field.

And we chased him down to the river bank but never would he yield.

 

And he’s jumped into the water And he’s swum to the other side.

And he’s laughed aloud at the green woodchuck and he’s turned to the huntsmen and cried:

 

“Ride on!, ye gallant huntsmen. When must I come again?

 

If ever you shall want for a fox to chase all over the plain

And when your need is greatest Just call on my name

And I will come, and you shall have The best of a sporting game.”

 

And the men looked up in wonder and the hounds ran back to hide,

For the fox had changed to the Devil himself as he stood at the other side.

Then the men, the hounds, and the horses went flying back to town

And hard on their heels was the devil himself, laughing as he ran.

 

“Ride on!, ye gallant huntsmen. When must I come again?

Whenever you shall want for a fox to chase all over the plain

And when your need is greatest Just call on my name

And I will come, and you shall have The best of a sporting game.”