Now here are the chains of the Grouse’s trail;
They turn and they wind about;
And the Hunter crawls till the flock is sprung
And whirs from a snow-drift out,
Save two, which fall at the roar of the gun
And redden the dazzling snow.
(Stilt keeps the Owl his distance safe,
But follows now fast, now slow.)
And here was the place of a poisoned bait,
Where naught but its print now lies,
For a Wolf has traced it up the wind
And swallowed the tempting prize.
Here ’t was griping his vitals and choking his breath —
That wolfskin is taken at last!
See! but a few steps, then he staggered and fell,
And writhed as his life went fast.