Three Jolly Huntsmen

Three jolly, old huntsmen, Joe, Jerry, Jim,
Took lunch at 'The Three Cornered Hat’;
Now Jerry was lanky, but Joe wasn’t slim,
And Jim was delightfully fat.
They sat at the table and worked with a will
At all the good things spread about them ;
They munched and they crunched and they gobbled, until
The hunt started gaily without them.
Joe cried ‘Hoity Toity! Alack! and Confound!’
Jim moaned, ' Let’s complain to the Police! ‘
But Jerry remarked ’I’ve an old basset hound,
And you chaps have a puppy a-piece;
‘A hunt on our own is our only resource!’
With rapture the hounds started yelping.
While each huntsman proceeded to climb on his horse,
The ostlers and stable-boys helping.
The basset hound soon found a scent to his taste;
He gave tongue and was off like a shot,
Behind him the pups and the hunting men raced,
For the pace was exceedingly hot.
But a garden of flower-beds, all bordered with box,
Put an end to their sporting excursion;
For the riotous pack was not hunting a fox.
But Lady Polpero’s pet Persian.
Jim and Jerry leaped back to the road whence they came,
Joe lingered to whip off the hounds;
Then he tried to escape from the furious dame,
But lost his way out of the grounds.
She made her men seek him with furious shout ;
But he finally managed to thwart her.
By crouching, with only his nose sticking out.
In a water-butt, brimful of water.
Now Jim on his dappled mare sturdily sat,
And trotted once more down the street,
And he said, 'Well, there’s this about hunting a cat.
It makes me want something to eat!’
He bought half a chicken to gnaw on the way.
And filled up his flask with brown sherry.
Then, lighting a weed, without further de-lay.
He cantered away after Jerry.
This flask he was taking a leisurely pull,
When he heard a loud roar in the rear,
And, turning, discovered a brisk looking bull
Drawing most disconcertingly near.
His Dapple was munching a tuft of sweet grass,
And when urged to ‘gee hup!’ she refused to;
So Joe had to run on his own legs, alas!
At a pace that they’d never been used to.
Why,' whimpered Jim, ‘am I hunting in pink?
It is a colour these savage brutes love!’
And he prayed as he raced, through the ground he might sink
And leave his pursuer above.
Two yokels ran up and showed wonderful sense
In using their forks as a lever,
And hooked the stout runaway over the fence,
While the bull took it out of his beaver.
Now Jerry till sundown continued the chase,
With his basset hound working a line
Which led them at last to a desolate place.
Thank goodness the weather was fine!
Beneath a gnarled oak tree they came to halt,
For there crouched a furry white Madam;
Which proved that their hunting once more was at fault.
And again had the Persian cat ‘had ’em’.
Puss swore with such spite, they were glad to retire,
By a pony track over the moor;
But what with the boulders, the gorse, and the mire.
Their progress was painfully poor.
Till Jerry, half-famished, endeavoured to jog
Down a track that grew thinner and thinner.
And finally, taking a toss in a bog.
Had a mouthful of mud for his dinner.
E’d never been quite so unlucky before,
To the best of his honest belief,
And still he’d another adventure in store;
For some rustics were chasing a thief.
In the dusk they were quite convinced Jerry was he,
And captured the horse he was riding.
While the huntsman crouched down by the stump of a tree
To secure and escape from a hiding.
That night in the bar of 'The Three Cornered Hat’
He ran his two cronies to earth,
And his plight was so mournful and woe-begone, that
The rafters resounded with mirth.
Then, snug by the fire, with their toddy at hand.
While the Landlady mended their tatters.
They declared, one and all, that the sport had been grand
And, after all, nothing else matters!
http://www.archive.org/ stream/threejollyhuntsm00pope#page/n0/mode/2up
(the book with  illustrations by Frank Adams)
Other works by Jessie Pope...