The Allansford Pursuit

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Oh, I shall go into the hare
With sorrow and sighing and mickle care,
And I shall go into the Devil’s name
Aye, till I be fetchèd hame.
– Hare, take heed of a bitch greyhound
Will harry thee all these fells around,
For here come I in Our Lady’s name
All but for to fetch thee hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Yet, I shall go into a trout
With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt,
And show thee many a crooked game
Ere that I be fetchèd hame.
– Trout, take heed of an otter lank
Will harry the close from bank to bank,
For here comes I in Our Lady’s name
All but for to fetch thee hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Yet I shall go into a bee
With a mickle horror and dread of thee
And flit to hive in the Devil’s name
Ere that I be fetchèd hame.
– Bee, take heed of a swallow hen
Will harry thee close, both butt and ben,
For here come I in Our Lady’s Name
All but for to fetch thee hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Yet I shall go into a mouse
And haste me unto the miller’s house,
There in his corn to have good game
Ere that I be fetchèd hame.
– Mouse, take heed of a white tib-cat
That never was baulked of mouse or rat,
For I’ll crack thy bones in Our Lady’s name:
Thus shalt thou be fetchèd hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Robert Graves
(restoration from seventeenth century fragmentary witch chants)

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