A Couple of Foxhounds, by Geo. Stubbs (1792): Exhibition at the Walker

Art Gallery, 2007
'Beware', she said, 'take heed and
See. My little brood, your
Earth is not secure, and for
Your safety keep close to me.'

The hounds are sharp, their
Noses keen. They scent the odorous
Rank of fox and cubs.
The chase is cruel, I know I've seen.

So tumbling cubs of softest fur,
Gentle sport of kings and man.
Listen to words of wisdom while you can.
The hounds are young and
So must run, each one sprint
To be allowed their fun.

Sad, that for our brief pleasures
We run with hounds and
Suffer grief. The smallest,
Yet defenceless death, is but
A subject to be caught in art.
Skilled in pain, paint and accuracy.
The truth of tolerance
We know, cannot be bought.

By Valerie Burgess