Take these lines:
As pants the hart for cooling streams
When heated in the chase
It was at least a decade before I realised that a hart was a deer, and even longer to work out that the whole thing was utter tosh. I mean, surely a cooling stream comes rather a long way down a hunted hart's wish list, below faster legs, bigger lungs, and someone to come along and see off all those blasted hunters.
Moche deer hunting scene, Larco Museum Collection, Lima, Peru
On the other hand, I suppose the chase might merely be an area of land, as in Cannock Chase; in which case those responsible for the verse, Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, should really have made it plain.
Anyway. Panting is said to be good for the heart, if not a hart, and I suppose that's as good a reason to do it as anything.
If moving quickly enough to get out of breath is too much trouble, then you can always pant for an ice cream, a pizza (which would be nicely alliterative) or, indeed, a sit-down.
In any case, whatever you're panting for, do enjoy it when you get it.
Thing Possibly To Do Today: pant. This word comes from the Old French pantaisier, from the Greek phantasia, fantasy.