The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113151   Message #3125313
Posted By: Jim Dixon
31-Mar-11 - 12:39 AM
Thread Name: Songs about Horses
Subject: Lyr Add: THE HIGH-METTLED RACER (Charles Dibdin)
Here's the original text, with correct attribution, of the song posted above by Black Belt Caterpillar Wrestler:

Charles Dibdin

See, the course throng'd with gazers, the sports are begun
The confusion but hear!--I'll bet you, sir!--Done, done!
Ten thousand strange murmurs resound far and near,
Lords, hawkers, and jockeys assail the tired ear.
While with neck like a rainbow, erecting his crest,
Pamper'd, prancing, and pleas'd, his head touching his breast,
Scarcely snuffing the air, he's so proud and elate,
The high-mettled racer first starts for the plate.

Now Reynard's turn'd out, and o'er hedge and ditch rush
Hounds, horses, and huntsmen, all hard at his brush:
They run him at length, and they have him at bay,
And by scent and by view cheat a long tedious way;
While, alike born for sports of the field and the course,
Always sure to come thorough a stanch and fleet horse,
When fairly run down the fox yields up his breath,
The high-mettled racer is in at the death.

Grown aged, used up, and turn'd out of the stud,
Lame, spavin'd, and windgall'd, but yet with some blood,
While knowing postilions his pedigree trace,
Tell his dam won that sweepstakes, his sire gain'd that race;
And what matches he won to the ostlers count o'er,
As they loiter their time at some hedge ale-house door,
While the harness sore galls, and the spurs his sides goad.
The high-mettled racer's a hack on the road.

Till at last having labour'd, drudg'd early and late,
Bow'd down by degrees, he bends on to his fate!
Blind, old, lean, and feeble, he tugs round a mill,
Or draws sand till the sand of his hour-glass stands still.
And now cold and lifeless exposed to the view
In the very same cart which he yesterday drew;
While a pitying crowd his sad relics surrounds,
The high-mettled racer is sold for the hounds!

[The above text can be found in many old books. An old musical arrangement can be found in The Harmonicon, Volume 2, Part 2 edited by William Ayrton (London: Samuel Leigh, 1824), page 38.]