Robert Burns – On seeing a wounded Hare limp by me, which a Fellow had just shot at

Inhuman man! curse on thy barbarous act,
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye;
May never pity sooth thee with a sigh,
Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!

Go live, poor wanderer of the wood and field!
The bitter little that of life remains:
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains
To thee shall home, or food, or pastime yield.

Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest,
No more of rest, but now thy dying bed!
The sheltering rushes whistling o’er thy head,
The cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest.

Oft as winding Nith, I, musing, wait
The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn,
I’ll miss thee sporting o’er the dewy lawn,
And curse the ruffian’s aim, and mourn thy hapless fate .

On Seeing a Wounded Hare Limp by me, which a Fellow Had just Shot at’ is based on fact, with Burns writing about his experience seeing a hare shot and cursing the person who shot him.

Burns talks about his respect for the hare, and regrets the loss of life, “I’ll miss thee sporting o’er the dewy lawn,/And curse the ruffian’s aim, and mourn thy hapless fate.” He clearly believes it’s a life lost in vain.

He is clearly angry that humanity has killed the innocence of an animal, “Inhuman man! Curse on thy barbarous act,”… “Go live, poor wanderer of the wood and field!”
Like Burns, Denny Bradbury writes of the dangers that face hares, in her poem in support of the Hare preservation trust, ‘Ballad of Running Hare!’

Bradbury’s poem could be seen as representing the life of someone fleeing war – “she runs to save her life from all that would be cruel!/she runs to stop her life being over far too soon!/born into a world where there is no redress!”

Bradbury’s hare clearly lives a life of fear as she tries to stay alive in her world full of peril – “born into danger where dark stalks with light!”

It’s a story of a mother trying to protect her children from the cruelties of the world, before she sadly dies in her attempts to protect them “the babies stay living for one more day!/both mother and father died in the affray!/they submit to the order today!”

Ballad of Running Hare!

she runs to save her life from all that would be cruel!
she runs to stop her life being over far too soon!
born into a world where there is no redress!
born into the field where beasts set her tests!
she submits to the order around!

she runs to take cover and lead them astray!
she runs to seek help from those who betray!
born into a world are her leverets bright!
born into danger where dark stalks with light!
they submit to the order around!

her expectations take on mortal fear!
her eyes and her ears ever wary and keen!
her stillness belies the intense need to rear!
yet another small group of the vulnerable pups!
she submits to the order around!

her mate is as keen to keep hopes alive!
he runs and protects them so dies as he tries!
the babies stay living for just one more day!
both mother and father died in the affray!
they submit to the order today!

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