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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Barry Cornwall 1787–1874

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!