“Snipe Shooting” – Sporting Magazine, 1798.

When gelid frosts encrust the faded ground,
And dreary winter clouds the scene around ;
The timid snipes fly to the sedgy rills,
Or seek the plashes on the upland hills.
The sportsman, now, wakes with the gleaming morn,
His gun makes fit, refills his pouch and horn,
And to the swampy meadow takes his way,
With sport and exercise to crown the day.
See first how curiously he scans the sedge,
Then warily proceeds along the edge :
His piece is cock’d, and in position right,
To meet his shoulder readily and light.
But yet more cautiously he treads beside
The well-known plash, where most he thinks to hide
The dappled bird – and from the rushy stream
Frighten’d she rises, with a piercing scream.
His tube the fowler points with steady sight,
And seeks to trace her thro’ her rapid flight ;
Whilst o’er the field she tries each artful wile,
And crooked turn, his level to beguile.
Her slender wings swift cut the buoyant air,
‘Till distance gives her as a mark more fair :
Now glancing, just the marksman gets his aim,
His ready finger doth the trigger strain.
He fires—the fatal shot unerring flies,
The Snipe is struck, she flutters, bleeds, and dies.

One thought on ““Snipe Shooting” – Sporting Magazine, 1798.

  1. I found this very descriptive poem in the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes, Volume 16, “The Poetry of Sport”. There is no author given, apart from the reference to it’s apparent publication in Sporting Magazine, 1798. If anyone has further information on this wonderful poem, please post a reply.

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