THE SQUIRE (REYNARD THE FOX, 1920) by JOHN MASEFIELD

An old bear in a scarlet peltCame next, old Squire Harridew,His eyebrows gave a man the grueSo bushy and so fierce they were;He had a bitter tongue to swear.A fierce, hot, hard, old, stupid squire,With all his liver made of fire,Small brain, great courage, mulish will.The hearts in all his house stood stillWhen someone crossed…

THE GOLDEN AGE (REYNARD THE FOX, 1920) by JOHN MASEFIELD

Charles Copse, of Copse Hold Manor, thrustNext into view. In face and limbThe beauty and the grace of himWere like the golden age returned.His grave eyes steadily discernedThe good in men and what was wise.He had deep blue, mild-coloured eyes,And shocks of harvest-coloured hair,Still beautiful with youth. An airOr power of kindness went about him;No…

FARMER BENNETT (REYNARD THE FOX, 1920) by JOHN MASEFIELD

Old Farmer Bennett followed these Upon his big-boned savage black Whose mule-teeth yellowed to bite back Whatever came within his reach. Old Bennett sat him like a leech. The grim old rider seemed to be As hard about the mouth as he. The beaters nudged each other’s ribs With “There he goes, his bloody Nibs….

“JILL AND JOAN” (REYNARD THE FOX, 1920) by JOHN MASEFIELD

Two bright young women, nothing meek, Rode up on bicycles and propped Their wheels in such wise that they dropped To bring the parson’s son to aid. Their cycling suits were tailor-made, Smart, mannish, pert, but feminine. The colour and the zest of wine Were in their presence and their bearing; Like spring, they brought…

THE PARSON (REYNARD THE FOX, 1920) by JOHN MASEFIELD

And with him came the stock which grew him— The parson and his sporting wife, She was a stout one, full of life With red, quick, kindly, manly face. She held the knave, queen, king, and ace In every hand she played with men. She was no sister to the hen, But fierce and minded…

THE CLERGYMAN (REYNARD THE FOX, 1920) by JOHN MASEFIELD

A pommle cob came trotting up, Round-bellied like a drinking-cup, Bearing on back a pommle man Round-bellied like a drinking-can. The clergyman from Condicote. His face was scarlet from his trot, His white hair bobbed about his head As halos do round clergy dead. He asked Tom Copp, “How long to wait?” His loose mouth…