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poetry of field-sports yet remains to be written. The only songs

upon the subject are for the most part the effusions of rude writers, and the homeliest diction seems to have been considered the most appropriate, or at all events the most likely to please the rough and ready gentlemen who a hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago leaped five-bar gates, and lived their lives among hounds and horses. Even Dibdin, so admirable in his sea-songs, became coarse when he sang of the sports of the field.

English songs in praise of angling, cricketing, and skating, are, as literary compositions, of a much more refined class than the other sporting lyrics.

Mr. Armiger, of Melton Mowbray, who published, in 1830, a collection of songs and ballads relating to racing, hunting, coursing, shooting, hawking, angling, and archery, has selected no less than three hundred lyrics of these various kinds; which number, great as it is, is far from having exhausted the subject; for, with a view of presenting an original compilation, he purposely excluded from it every song to be found in a similar volume, published in 1810, under the title of “Songs of the Chase," containing upwards of three hundred and fifty songs upon the same topics. The object of his volume was to show the groundlessness of “the complaint frequently made at the festive board of a dearth of sporting songs,” a

an object in which he most undoubtedly succeeded, although his collection might be cited to prove what neither he nor the previous editor intended to show-a dearth of genius in writers of this class. The selection here made includes some of the most ancient sporting songs in the lauguage-valuable on that account, if on no other—and also some of the most popular of later compositions.


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WE three archers be,
Rangers that rove throughout the north country,
Lovers of ven’son and liberty,

That value not honours or money.

We three good fellows be,
That never yet ran from three times three,
Quarterstaff, broadsword, or bowmanry;

But give us fair play for our money.

We three merry men be,
At a lass or a glass under greenwood tree;
Jocundly chanting our ancient glee,

Though we had not a penny of money.
This song, of which the editor has not been able to trace the first appearance, is modelled
upon the style of, or is a parody upon, “The Soldier's Glee,” from the "Deuteromelia."
See “Military and Patriotic Songs.


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From a curious musical miscellany, called, "Pamelia,” 4to. Lond. 1609. The song, however, is much older than the date of the book, being frequently mentioned by Elizabethan writers.

Now, Robin, lend to me thy bow,

Sweet Robin, lend to me thy bow;
For I must now a-hunting with my ladye go.

With my sweet ladye go.

And whither will thy ladye go?

Sweet Wilkin tell it unto me;
And thou shalt have my hawk, my hound, and eke my bow,

To wait on thy ladye.

My lady will to Uppingham,*

To Uppingham, forsooth, will she;
And I myself appointed for to be the man

To wait on my ladye.

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* A market-town in Rutlandshire.

Adieu, good Wilkin, all beshrewd,

Thy hunting nothing pleaseth me;
But yet beware thy babbling hounds stray not abroad,

For ang’ring of thy ladye.

My hounds shall be led in the line,

So well I can assure it thee;
Unless by view of strain some pursue I may find,

To please my sweet ladye.

With that the ladye she came in,

And will’d them all for to agree;
For honest hunting never was accounted sin,

Nor never shall for me.

In the "very merry and pithie commedie” called " The longer thou livest the more fool thou art,” there is a stage direction-"Here entreth Moros, counterfeiting a vain gesture and foolish countenance, singing the foote (burden) of many songs, as fooles are wont; among others, 'Robin, lend me thy bowe, thy bowe.' The play was entered at Stationer's Hall in 1568-9."-Chappebl’s Popular Music of the Olden Time," Part II., page 79.


THE hunte is up, the hunte is up,

And it is well nigh day;
And Harry, our King, is gone hunting,

To bring his deer to bay.
The east is bright, with morning light,

And darkness it is filed;
And the merie horne wakes


the morne To leave his idle bed.

Behold the skyes with golden dyes,

Are glowing all arotid;
The grasse is greene, and so are the treene,

All laughing at the sound.

The horses snort, to be at the sport,

The dogges are running free;
The woddes rejoyce at the merry noise

Of hey tantara to see !

The sunne is glad, to see us clad

All in our lustre greene;
And smiles in the skye as he riseth hye

To see, and to be seene.

Awake all men,

say agen,
Be mery as you maye ;
For Harry our King, is gone hunting,

To bring his deere to baye.

Among the favourites of Henry the Eighth, Puttenham notices one Gray, what good estimation did he grow unto, with the same King Henry, and afterwards with the Duke of Somerset, Protectour, for making certaine merry ballades whereof one chiefly was, “ The Hunte is up, the hunte is up."-- From Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time.

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