Should say as was running to the hunter shouting,
The fox felt first that every step was telling something;
His body and lungs seemed all grown old,
His legs less certain, his heartless bold,
The hound-noise nearer, the hill-slope steeper,
The thud in the blood of his body deeper.
His pride in his speed, his joy in the race.
Were withered away, for what use was pace?
He had run his best, and the hounds ran better,
Then the going worsened, the earth was wetter.
Then his brush drooped down till it sometimes dragged,
And his fur felt sick and his chest was tagged
With toggles of mud, and his pads seemed to lead,
It was well for him he’d an earth ahead.
One last short burst upon failing feel—
Their life lay waiting, so sweet, so sweet,
Rest in a darkness, balm for aches.
The earth was stopped. It was barred with stakes.
On the basis of your reading of the poem, answer the following questions briefly
(a) What was the fox trying?
(b) Which phrase tells you that the fox was losing hope?
(c) What have withered away and why were they withered?
(d) Did the fox succeed in its attempt? Pick out and write the phrase in support of your answer.
(e) Why were the fox’s attempts to escape going worse?
(f) What is the meaning of the last line of the poem?
(g) Write down two pairs of words that rhyme in the poem.
(h) The poet has used repetition of sounds (Alliteration) in the poem e.g., ‘Were withered away,
Pick out and write another example and underline the sound that is repeated.