Mr Ridley

The Morning is Charming
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A hunting song from Lancashire published in Thomas Hale's Social Harmony, Liverpool, 1763.
Lyrics: Charles Legh

The morning is charming, all nature is gay,
Away my brave boys, to your horses away;
For the prime of our pleasure and questing the hare
We have not so much as a moment to spare.
Hark the merry-toned horn, how melodious it sounds,
To the musical song of the merry-mouthed hounds.

In yon stubble field we shall find her below,
"Soho" cries the huntsman, "hark to him, soho";
See where she goes and the hounds have a view;
Such harmony Handel himself never knew,
Gates, hedges and ditches to us are no bounds,
But the world is our own while we follow the sounds,

"Hold, hold 'tis a double, hark hey, Towler, hey",
If a thousand gainsay it a thousand shall lie,
His beauty surpassing, his truth has been tried,
At the head of a pack, an infallible guide.
To his cry the wild welkin with thunder resounds
The darling of hunters, the glory of hounds.

O'er highlands and lowlands and woodlands we fly;
Our horses full speed and the hounds in full cry;
So match'd are their mouths and so even they run
As the tune of the spheres, and their race with the sun.
Health, joy and felicity dance in the rounds
And bless the gay circle of hunters and hounds.

The old hounds push forward, a very sure sign
That the hare, who's a stout one, begins to decline:
A chase of two hours or more she has led,
She's down: look about ye, they have her 'ware dead.
How glorious a death to be honoured with sounds
Of the horn with a shout to the chorus of hounds.

Here's a health to all hunters, and long be their lives,
May they never be crossed by their sweethearts or wives.
May they rule their own passions, and ever at rest
As the most happy men, be they also the best.
And free from the care of the many surrounds
Have peace at the last, when they see no more hounds.