The Poetry Corner

The Forest Greeting

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Good hunting!--aye, good hunting, Wherever the forests call; But ever a heart beats hot with fear, And what of the birds that fall? Good hunting!--aye, good hunting, Wherever the north winds blow; But what of the stag that calls for his mate? And what of the wounded doe? Good hunting!--aye, good hunting; And ah! we are bold and strong; But our triumph call through the forest hall Is a brother's funeral song. For we are brothers ever, Panther and bird and bear; Man and the weakest that fear his face, Born to the nest or lair. Yes, brothers, and who shall judge us? Hunters and game are we; But who gave the right for me to smite? Who boasts when he smiteth me? Good hunting!--aye, good hunting, And dim is the forest track; But the sportsman Death comes striding on: Brothers, the way is black.