Huntsman, What Quarry?

(1990)

"Huntsman, What Quarry?" is the first song of Simon Sargon's two song set Huntsman, What Quarry?. The songs are for soprano, horn, and piano.

Sheet music for Mr. Sargon's songs is available directly through the composer by contacting the following address: [email protected].

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The audio selection in the player to the right features Nancy Keith, soprano, Gregory Hustis French horn, and Simon Sargon, piano. Used with the permission of the composer. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

Huntsman, What Quarry?
by Edna St. Vincent Millay


"Huntsman, what quarry?
On the dry hill
Do your hounds harry?


When the red oak is bare
And the white oak still
Rattles its leaves
In the cold air:
What fox runs there?”


“Girl, gathering acorns
In the cold autumn,
I hunt the hot pads
That ever run before,
I hunt the pointed mask
That makes no reply,
I hunt the red brush
Of remembered joy.”


“To tame or to destroy?”


“To destroy.”


“Huntsman, hard by
In a wood of grey beeches
Whose leaves are on the ground,
Is a house with a fire;
You can see the smoke from here.


There’s supper and a soft bed
And not a soul around.
Come with me there;
Bide there with me;
And let the fox run free.”


The horse that he rode on
Reached down its neck,
Blew upon the acorns,
Nuzzled them aside;
The sun was near setting;
He thought, “Shall I take her?”
He thought, “Shall I take her
For a one-night’s bride?”


He smelled the sweet smoke,
He looked the lady over;
Her hand was on his knee;
But like a flame from cover
The red fox broke –
And “Hoick! Hoick!” cried he.


Audio PLaylist