A Hail to the Hunter
by Holman Day

Excerpted from Day, Holman, Up in Maine. Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1900. pp. 162-164.


Oh, we're getting under cover, for the "sport" is on the way,
—Pockets bulge with ammunition, and he's coming down to slay:
All his cartridges are loaded and his trigger's on the "half,"
And he'll bore the thing that rustles, from a deer to Jersey calf.

He will shoot the foaming rapids, and he'll shoot the yearling bull.
And the farmer in the bushes—why, he'll fairly get pumped full.
For the gunner is in earnest, he is coming down to kill,
—Shoot you first and then inquire if he hurt you—yes, he will!

For the average city feller he has big game on the brain,
And imagines in October there is nothing else in Maine!
Therefore some absorbed old farmer cutting corn or pulling beans
Gets most mightily astonished with a bullet in his jeans.

So, O neighbor, scoot for cover or get out your armor plate,
— Johnnie's got his little rifle and is swooping on the State.
Oh, we're learning, yes, we're learning, and I'll warn you now, my son,
If you really mean to bore us you must bring a bigger gun.

For the farmers have decided they will take no further chance,
And progressive country merchants carry armor-plated pants;
— Carry shirts of chain-plate metal, lines of coats all bullet-proof,
And the helmets they are selling beat a Knight of Malta's "roof."

So I reckon that the farmers can proceed to get their crops,
Yes, and chuckle while the bullet raps their trouser seat and stops;
And the hissing double-B shot as they criss-cross over Maine
Will excite no more attention than the patter of the rain.

And the calf will fly a signal and the Jersey bull a sign,
And the horse a painted banner, reading "Hoss; Don't Shoot; He's Mine!"
And every fowl who wanders from the safety of the pen
Will be taught to cackle shrilly, "Please don't plug me; I'm a hen."

Now with all these due precautions we are ready for the gang,
We'll endure the harmless tumult of the rifles crack and bang,
For we're glad to have you with us—shoot the landscape full of holes;
We will back our brand-new armor for to save our precious souls.
O you feller in the city, those 'ere woods is full of fun,
We've got on our iron trousers—so come up and bring your gun!


Who Was Holman Day?


Holman Day was born in Vassalboro, Maine in about 1866 to Captain John R. and Mary Carter Day. He graduated from Colby College in 1887. He worked for newspapers in Bangor, Dexter, and Lewiston, and was eventually made managing editor of the Lewiston Daily Sun.

During his lifetime, Day wrote more than 300 short stories and 25 novels, in addition to many poems and several plays. Some of Day's better known books are King Spruce, Rider of the King Log, All-Wool Morrison, and Joan of Arc of the North Woods. His novels about Maine's logging operations and life in the woods made him one of the state's most well-known writers in the early twentieth century. He is known to have spent time at Brighton and Carry Pond, among other places in Somerset County.

Day moved to California about 15 years before his death in 1935 in San Francisco at the age of 69.

King Spruce is especially recommended by the OCRHS for its references to logging in the early twentieth century and to the geography of The Enchanted.

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