The Hunted Hare

By a forest as I went along,
Walking alone,
I heard the mourning of a hare;
Dolefully she made her moan.

"Dear God, how will I live
"And lead my life in this land?
From hill to dale I'm driven;
Nowhere can I sit or stand!

Hunters will not hear the mass
In hope of hunting for to go;
They tie their hounds big and small
And bring them out here barking so.

Dogs running on every side
Through furrows hoping to find me;
Hunters and horses on every side
Tearing up the land to find me.

Quick they come close behind;
I bend down still and low;
The first man to see me cries,
`There sits that hare, ho!'

Thus I'm the cause of sport,
In wood, in path, in dead.
This is the way that I must live.
This is the life I lead.

At winter in the deep snow
Men will follow my trace;
By my stepping I am known;
They follow me from place to place.

And if to town I come or turn,
Be it day or be it night,
The women also think it fun
To sic dogs on me at sight.

I dare not sit and chomp the grass
If a woman be in the way.
Quickly she will swear, `By God!
There's a hare in my hay!'

Quickly she'll cry, `Get out, you!'
Looking right where I sit;
After me she'll run with a stave
Hoping for one good lick.

`If I can, you'll be mine;
I've got a hare-trap in my purse.
It'll be waiting for your sake--
Better run, you! Have Christ's curse!'

Eleven hounds this woman has,
And after me she'll send them.
Like a shrew she threatens me
Crying out, `Dogs, go, rend him!'

Thus I'm driven. I dread my death.
I'll die before my day...
For well or woe away it goes,
This world it winds away."

| Original Poem |

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