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Forth from his lonely haunt,
Lean, evil-eyed and gaunt
Stealthily stealing
To where on low chemise
Hang tattered shreds of fleece
Guiding to where in peace
The flocks are kneeling.


Crackling of underbrush
Breaks on the forest's hush
Some wanderer telling,
Then on the startled ear
Far off and then more near
Sounds forth distinct and clear
A hideous yelling.


Haste little lambs and flee,
Quick comes an enemy
Reckless with hunger,
Lean are his ugly jaws,
Hollow his evil eyes,
As from his den he goes
Seeking for plunder.


Sheep running here and there
Helpless from sudden fear
Warned of their danger,
What has the calm flock seen?
Close by the wild ravine
With fierce and threatening mien
Stands a gaunt stranger.


Short is the cruel chase,
Then from a sheltered place
Strange sounds ensuing
Tell of a victim dead,
Tell of a meal soon spread,
Tell of a fate most dread
Wily pursuing.


Hark! Now from far away
Echoes a low, deep bay
From ridge to hollow,
Ears pricked up at the sound,
Then with a sudden bound
Clears he the gory ground;
Hounds soon will follow.


Crackling of underbrush,
Then, as before, a hush
Deep and oppressive
Save for the frightened feet
Far off in quick retreat
And now and then a bleat
Still apprehensive.


Soon on the ridge's height
Hunters appear in sight,
Hounds traveling faster
Find where the prey was slain
Down in the wild ravine;
Where has the culprit gone?
No one can answer.


Hunters of high repute
Back from a vain pursuit
Weary and baffled,
Stealthy and cunning foe
Still your sly ends pursue.
Culprits more low than you
Escape the scaffold.