Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Verses Inspired by 'My Old Black Pipe'

Aye ! Many a sport old Homer names.
By Achilles held ' at his little games ',
On the banks of the swift Scamander ;
And Pindar sings the Olympian deeds
Of the ivory car and the milk-white steeds
Of Catullus or Lysander.
How clouds of dust aloft were spurn'd
By wheels that grazed the goals as they turn'd
Till the bright sparks flicker'd redly ;
How the strains of mingled mirth and fury,
That swell'd in the chant of ' Morituri ',
Proclaimed when the sports were deadly.
Ah ! little we cared for classic lore,
When Greek was a task and Latin a bore,
In school-days that are deemed of yore ;
And who will venture to chide us,
If better we loved the play-field green,
And the black-thorn hedge that served as a screen
In the mills that settled our boyish spleen,
From the tutor's eyes to hide us ?
Who envies the bygone days of old ?
They never were half so good as we're told ;
Their loss is not worth bewailing.
We have seen young Camel's slashing stride,
And Archer's rush, and Mormon's pride ;
And the deer-like bound of Ingleside,
At ' five-foot-three ' of a paling.
We've seen how the side of Falcon bled,
And the hopes of Arinna's backers fled
When the Rose of Denmark shot ahead,
And never again they caught her.
How false were the shouts of ' Barwon's first ! '
When she came 'from the distance home' with a burst,
And the favourite's friends devoutly cursed
Old Premier's gamest daughter.
What cheers for King Alfred's white-faced son
Were heard when the Western chase was done,
And the judge's verdict given ;
While Vandyke fell in the beaten ranks,
And the red spots showed on the mare's great flanks
How vainly the steel was driven.
And with anxious longing we wait the day,
When the prads must strip for the coming fray,
To be criticized in rotation ;
But to spot the winner we well not try,
For a mist obscures our mental eye,
And we have not the power of prophecy,
Nor the spirit of divination.
Yet in fancy's glass we may scan the course,
And hear the bookmaker's challenge hoarse,
The odds incessantly dunning ;
We may watch the starter's signal fall,
And the nags may picture, one and all,
For a Cup in a cluster running.
And mark, as they sweep before the stand
How Ebor is going well in hand,
And Banker is pulling double ;
How longer each moment grows the tail,
As one by one the outsiders fail,
To get into grief and trouble.
How Trainor pulls out of Waldock's track,
And Morrison steadies the Caulfield crack,
While up on the right comes the rose and black
Like an eagle that scents the plunder ;
How round the turn they jostle and crush,
And Simpson clears his whip for a rush,
And then on the crowd comes a lull and a hush
And then a roar like thunder.
And when Beaufort collars the Western pet,
Then Greek meets Greek, unconquered yet,
And the tug of war commences ;
As stride for stride, with the stoke of one,
Like greyhounds running with couples on
Together they fly their fences.
There ' Vates ' and ' Rhyming Richard ' too,
Can tell much better than I or you
What nags are likely the trick to do,
Nor will I their judgement sneer at ;
If the gift of second sight were mine,
I'd make a fortune, and then ' I'd shine ',
But I haven't got it, and so I'll sign
' Qui Meruit Palmam Ferat '.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:02 min read

Adam Lindsay Gordon

Adam Lindsay Gordon was an Australian poet, jockey and politician. more…

All Adam Lindsay Gordon poems | Adam Lindsay Gordon Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Adam Lindsay Gordon poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Verses Inspired by 'My Old Black Pipe'" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/195/verses-inspired-by-'my-old-black-pipe'>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    Which author is considered to be Scotland’s national poet?
    • A. Robert Burns
    • B. Danny Boyle
    • C. Edwin Morgan
    • D. Robert Louis Stevenson

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets