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A Father's Advice

If a sportsman true you’d be
Listen carefully to me. . .

Never, never let your gun
Pointed be at anyone.
That it may unloaded be
Matters not the least to me.

When a hedge or fence you cross
Though of time it cause a loss
From your gun the cartridge take
For the greater safety’s sake.

If twixt you and neighboring gun
Bird shall fly or beast may run
Let this maxim ere be thine
"Follow not across the line."

Stops and beaters oft unseen
Lurk behind some leafy screen.
Calm and steady always be
"Never shoot where you can’t see."

You may kill or you may miss
But at all times think this:
"All the pheasants ever bred
Won’t repay for one man dead."

"Early Instruction"
By Carl Kauba
c. 1902

Written by Mark Beaufoy of Coombe House, Shaftesbury, Dorset, England, in 1902, on presenting his eldest son, Henry Mark, with his first gun. Reproduced here by permission of the author’s granddaughter, Mrs. P. M. Guild.