Barry Cornwall

(21 November 1787 – 5 October 1874 / Leeds, England)

The Blood Horse


GAMARRA is a dainty steed,
Strong, black, and of a noble breed,
Full of fire, and full of bone,
With all his line of fathers known;
Fine his nose, his nostrils thin,
But blown abroad by the pride within!
His mane is like a river flowing,
And his eyes like embers glowing
In the darkness of the night,
And his pace as swift as light.

Look,—how ’round his straining throat
Grace and shifting beauty float!
Sinewy strength is on his reins,
And the red blood gallops through his veins;
Richer, redder, never ran
Through the boasting heart of man.
He can trace his lineage higher
Than the Bourbon dare aspire,—
Douglas, Guzman, or the Guelph,
Or O’Brien’s blood itself!

He, who hath no peer, was born
Here, upon a red March morn:
But his famous fathers dead
Were Arabs all, and Arab bred,
And the last of that great line
Trod like one of a race divine!
And yet,—he was but friend to one
Who fed him at the set of sun,
By some lone fountain ’fringed with green:
With him, a roving Bedouin,
He liv’d,—(none else would he obey
Through all the hot Arabian day,)—
And died untam’d upon the sands
Where Balkh amidst the desert stands!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Rookie Sally Dorneden (2/10/2012 12:14:00 AM)

    I love this poem. I first saw it in school and chose it for a project. Thank you for posting it! It's as beautiful as I remembered it. (Report) Reply

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