When I was a young man, I followed the hounds
But that was a long time ago.
For thrills and excitement naught can compare
When mounted a horse that could go.
Where followers loved to see a good fox away,
And farmers were seldom contrary.
Many the great day’s hunting we had,
‘Round Fethard with gallant Tipperary.
Of all the great runs that I’ve ever seen,
There is one that I here must recall.
That followed a meet that was held in Cloneen
And is one of the greatest of all.
We drew Kylenagranagh hounds very soon found
A good fox was quickly away.
Straight to Cloneen, on to Guaranguile
Where the music fair rose to a scream.
To Ballinard wood where the scent was still good,
Right handed to Doran’s thick gorse.
The jumping we met we’ll never forget,
That tested both hounds, man and horse.
There was many a dyke between Doran’s and spike
And many pulled up at the Tyne.
For those that got through there was nothing to do
But ride hard and follow the line.
On the captain’s long hill we had a great thrill
For those who were not forced to yield.
From the valley below came a fine view halloa
With the hounds and the fox in same field.
So we thundered along tot he hounds merry song
Like Revere that famed horseman of yore.
As that gallant old fox kept us up to the task
As he flew for the groves of Coolmore.
He flew on like a fawn through the plains of Coolbawn
Where there’s neither a hill nor a hollow.
And holding your place with the speed of the chase
Tried the mettle of those that would follow.
Then came a welcome check when the hounds were at fault
For what seemed like ten minutes or more.
When whip Tommy Ryan put him down from a tree
And he took off like never before.
There was mud, slush and gutter thrown up in our faces
Which caused us no bother at all.
As long as our pilot held straight to his line
and did not head for Killenaule.
Grangebarry we touched then to Knockinglass
Through Cattingstown hounds fairly flew.
Clonbrogan and Woodhouse were left far behind
Magorban and Silverfort too.
When we reached Balloughboy many complained
Their horses were feeling the strain.
But the master ahead was still going full steam
When we reached the green fields of Coleraine.
Killbarryherbery, also known as Kill Hills
There ended this wonderful chase.
When our quarry decided he could not take more
And found a most welcome safe place.
To those that had finished the master did say
“If you hunt ‘til a hundred and ten
The like of the great run that we had today
You scarcely will ‘ere see again.”
The Road Home
Then we turned our backs on Dualla’s famed hill
and headed for Silverfort cross.
Weary and tired we headed for home
And stopped for a drink in Moyglass.
Dark had descended as we passed through Coolbawn,
Shortly we reached St. Johnstown
Where brandy and whiskey and porter galore
At Delia’s we quickly let down.
With Delia’s goodbye there were stars in the sky
As we wended our weary way home.
With eight miles to go the pace it was slow
But at least no-one travelled alone.
Through Lismoylan and Magoury on to Curraheen
By Corbally down to Soilshawn.
At last our long journey was nearing its end
Near midnight we were home in Cloneen.