- Books, Literature, and Writing
Poems and songs about horses
Horses and beautiful, powerful creatures than for centuries have inspired many people to express this through their art.
Many famous writers, poets, singers, authors and journalists have also used their medium to portray the beauty of horses.
Some of the most famous quotes from well-known people throughout history have been covered in the previous hubs which can be found here and here. However, this one looks in depth at those talented few who have been able to capture their feelings about equestrians in words.
These include the famous country singer Johnny Cash, who wrote a bouncy love song called the Tennessee Stud. This tells the story of a cowboy who rides the Tennessee Stud through the plains in pursuit of a woman. The song finishes with the Tennessee Stud finding his mate, the Tennessee Mare.
Some of the most moving poems also comes from the likes of William Shakespeare, the world-famous playwright, Lord Byron, an iconic English poet, and many others as well as traditional songs and rhymes.
If you know of any more that could be included here please email or leave a comment below with your suggestions.
Lord Byron, XVII, Mazeppa, 1818
A thousand horse – and none to ride!
With flowing tail, and flying mane,
Wide nostrils never stretched by pain,
Mouth bloodless to the bit or rein,
And feet that never iron shod,
And flanks unscarred by spur or rod,
A thousand horse, the wild, the free,
Like waves that follow o’er the sea,
Came quickly thundering on.
Ronald Duncan, 'The Horse,' 1954
Where in this wide world can man find
nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility;
he has fought without enmity
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
Johnny Cash, Tennessee Stud
The Tennessee stud was long and lean,
the colour of sun and his eyes were green.
He had the nerve and he had the blood,
there never was a horse like the Tennessee stud.
Somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act III, Scene 7
He's of the colour of the nutmeg.
And of the heat of the ginger.... he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him,
but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him;
he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
Will H. Ogilvie
The hooves of horses!
Oh! Witching and sweet
Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet;
No whisper of a lover, no trilling of a bird,
Can stir me as much as the hooves of horses
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Traditional Navajo song
My horse has a hoof like a striped agate.
His fetlock is like a fine eagle plume.
His legs are like quick lightning.
My horse has a tail like a trailing black cloud.
The holy wind blows through his hair
Thomas Buchanan Read
Under his spurning feet the road
Like an arrowly alpine river flowed
And the landscape sped away behind
Like an ocean flying behind the wind
Then day sniffed with its blue nose
Through the open stable window,
and found them – the foal nuzzling its mother,
velvet fumbling for her milk
Adam Lindsay Gordon
She was iron-sinewed and satin skinn’d
Ribb’d like a drum and limb’d like a deer
Fierce as the fire and fleet as the wind –
There was nothing she couldn’t climb or clear
That hoss wasn’t built to tread the earth,
He took natural to the air,
And every time he went aloft,
He tried to leave me there
For the want of a rider the battle was lost;
For the want of the battle the kingdom was lost;
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail