African Game - The Gemsbok a Hunting Poem
Most beautiful those roving tribes,
The antelopes, the bounding deer,
The wild deer of the Afric land,
The blessbok and the springbok swift,
The oryx, steinbok, and hartbeest,
The quagga, pallah and the gnu,
That o’er the boundless pastures feast,
Have since Creation’s dawning rang’d
Those grassy pastures, green and vast
And countless summers have beheld
Those wild hers speeding far and fast.
Free denizens of the wood and glade,
Of prairie broad, of flowery plain,
The savage tribes may scarce molest;
Their spears and arrows are in vain.
They range the mountain foot, they plunge
In hidden gorge, in ravine dim,
They speed across the craggy slopes,
Along the bending grass they skim.
By fountains in the desert’s hear
Where leans the palm-tree o’er the wave,
They come consuming thirst to quench,
Their panting flanks to dip and lave.
The blessbok, noblest of the herds,
Loveliest with all the rainbow dies,
Purple and violet and brown,
Like mingled glories of the skies,
Is e’er so shy, so fleet of foot,
That vain is hunter’s hot pursuit.
The black wild-beest, a bolder race,
Fly not with all the flying crew,
But wheel in mazy circles round,
Tempting hunter to pursue;
In evolutions intricate,
Like dragoons skirmishing in war,
They circle caper round the hunt,
Now swooping near, now scatter’d far.
While hunters charge one herd in front
Another gathers in the way, ----
Fierce cossacks of the desert space,
Now menacing, now brought to bay.
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