Or how to catch ringdoves –  Old World pigeon (Streptopelia risoria) having black markings forming a half circle on the neck –  for your supper the Renaissance way.


Ring Dove

Having said my piece and feeling quite gay,

I invite my friends to put sadness away

“Come! Come! friends, I say; this evening,

If you’re ready, I’ll take you clattering”

In the kitchen, hither and thither

Everyone runs to find first whatever

Will make a noise. One takes a kettle,

Another a mortar of noisy metal,

Another a drum, another a boiler,

Another a fry pan, another runs to the barber

To borrow a baisin; in short, each brings

To make a great noise, all sorts of things.

Once in the forest we begin to take

The sounding instruments, forthwith to make

Such a noise in the fields, the woods, in the sky,

Which goes forth, that whoever hears it will say

In the woods around, some horrible hell,

Has broken loose and come to dwell.

With such a clamour we take the road

Where the ringdoves in the nearby wood

Of hornbeam, oak and willows roost,

The chill night through.

Under the trees we redouble our clatter

Soon the fire’s alight, its bright rays scatter

To aid the incontinent eye as it reached

The great flock perching in the branches.

The ringdoves watch, necks craned, and turning

Immobile at the noise and bright flames burning,

Which in an instant suddenly flare.

Now the harquebus men begin to prepare,

They attentively look at the tree to take stock

Of the densest mass of the startled flock.

Then suddenly sounds a volley of shots

Mixed with the clatter of pans and pots,

Which fill the woods with a horrible blare

While the small-shot ravage in the leafy air

Whatever they meet, and rain on our head

A hail of ringdoves; the rest, full of dread,

Stay still in the tree, or merely change place,

Fluttering about in the bright, clear rays,

Perching more in the light, on the first twig that offers.

Thus, better seen than before the shooters,

Rest quite at ease, till they start to fall striken

Tumbling topsy-turvy…