The Oakley Hunt

Composed expressly for the Hunt Dinner, November 18th 1836, and sung by the Author, “A Country Squire” this uses as a melody an air referred to as “Dash away! splash away! heigh, dash away!”.   First published in Bailys Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, March 1861)

It may take a bit of digging to track this down if you are not familiar with it.

 

I have sung you many songs, my boys, no end of times before,

And if I never sing again I’ll sing you this one more,

To congratulate you all upon the actual arrival

Of the Marquis and his hounds, and on the glorious revival

Of the Oakley Hunt,

The Oakley Hunt,

The Old Oakley Hunt.

 

Some people like new-fangled ways, while others stick to old,

Some keep to their old habits, while some others, I am told,

Can no longer even hunt or sit down quiet at their mutton

Unless their coats are spangled with a spick and span new button

For the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

But give me a good old-fashioned fox, and never mind the rest,

It matters not a button how we are any of us drest;

But when the new pack run, boys, as the old pack used to go,

Just ride as we once rode when we put on the old O

Of the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

Oh! is it not a pleasure, now, to see old times revive?

To see our worthy Marquis up to covert gaily drive?

To see old Tom Ball himself again, when the gallant pack appears,

With half a dozen whippers and their Huntsman, Mr. Beers,

Of the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

To see Magniac and Whitbread and the rest of the old party,

Not to mention Mr. Seymour, in the ‘noble science’ hearty?

To see things look as they did look some seven years ago,

When no country throughout England could look down upon the O

Of the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

Last Tuesday ‘twas a merry time, when Reynard chanced to choose

From Hanger Wood thro’ Bromham Park to swim the river Ouse;

The stream so broad across the ford up to the banks was brimming;

My Pegasus, he could not fly, and so he took to swimming

With the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

The hydrophobia sent the field, who feared they should be drowned,

To Bromham Bridge, just right about, but just the wrong way round;

While with Alford and a chosen few, I mounted Clapham Hill,

And enjoyed a run of forty minutes, ending with a kill,

With the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

Now don’t you hope that you may all to-morrow see as much?

‘Twas such a run, I only wish you may have many such.

Oh! may your sport increase until all Bedfordshire resounds,

From one end unto the other with the Marquis and the Hounds

Of the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

So here’s a bumper to his health, long may he live to see

All the sport that he desires to show to others and to me;

And may all Oakley men I’ve known, and all that I may know,

Feel as anxious as their poet for the credit of the O

Of the Oakley Hunt, &c.

 

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