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14 Famous Poems About Horses

14 Famous Poems About Horses

Ever looked into a horse's eyes? They are dark as night yet you can see your reflection in them. Those guileless eyes with boundless depths will make you want to plunge into them. Those eyes are reminiscent of past, and sign of valor, royalty, and endeavor. In this Penlighten article, we bring to you a selection of famous poems about the wonderful and dignified horse.
Penlighten Staff
"The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never."
―Yiddish Proverb

There's nothing as ethereal and majestic as riding horseback. Never did something as intangible as air feel so alive and full as it did when you saw the mane of your lovable beast flying in its acknowledgement. As the horse gallops across the field, the seemingly endless expanse starts lapsing into contraction, making everything seem ephemeral and surreal. You can almost feel the warm blood coursing through the horse as he runs fervently, as if trying to live each coming moment and keep alive the exhilarating feeling of freedom of the moments passed by. You are imbued with his infectious energy and feel intoxicated with his celerity.

You can't help but feel amazed by this charming beast's insatiable appetite for freedom, its loyalty, and its drive. Here's coming a handpicked selection of famous horse poems from Buzzle.

* Click on the tabs to jump to your favorite poem.


Horses and Men in Rain by Carl Sandburg

Let us sit by a hissing steam radiator a winter's day, gray wind pattering frozen raindrops on the window,
And let us talk about milk wagon drivers and grocery delivery boys.

Let us keep our feet in wool slippers and mix hot punches-and talk about mail carriers and messenger boys slipping along the icy sidewalks.
Let us write of olden, golden days and hunters of the Holy Grail and men called "knights" riding horses in the rain, in the cold frozen rain for ladies they loved.

A roustabout hunched on a coal wagon goes by, icicles drip on his hat rim, sheets of ice wrapping the hunks of coal, the caravanserai a gray blur in slant of rain.
Let us nudge the steam radiator with our wool slippers and write poems of Launcelot, the hero, and Roland, the hero, and all the olden golden men who rode horses in the rain.


A Blessing by James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.


Horse and Rider by Kim Schilling

Galloping towards the base of the steep hill,
watching the breeze bluster through her mane,
with a mild touch I veered her with reign;
For a serene moment all time stood still.

Horse and mount journeying with great skill,
but collectively as one we must attain;
Galloping towards the base of the steep hill,
watching the breeze bluster through her mane.

Feeling the power beneath me is a thrill,
and racing across the meadowy plane,
a feeling rushes over I can't explain,
perhaps the reality of taking a spill;
Galloping towards the base of the steep hill.


Boot and Saddle by Robert Browning

Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!
Rescue my Castle, before the hot day
Brightens the blue from its silvery grey,

(Chorus) "Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Ride past the suburbs, asleep as you'd say;
Many's the friend there, will listen and pray
"God's luck to gallants that strike up the lay,

(Chorus) "Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Forty miles off, like a roebuck at bay,
Flouts Castle Brancepeth the Roundheads array:
Who laughs, Good fellows ere this, by my fay,

(Chorus) "Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Who? My wife Gertrude; that, honest and gay,
Laughs when you talk of surrendering, "Nay!
I've better counsellors; what counsel they?"

(Chorus) "Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"


The Horse by Ronald Duncan

Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity?
Here where grace is laced 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.

England's past has been borne on his back.
All our history is in his industry.
We are his heirs;
He is our inheritance.

© (Copyright of) the Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation


The Horse Of Your Heart by William Henry Ogilvie

When you've ridden a four-year-old half of the day
And, foam to the fetlock, they lead him away,
With a sigh of contentment you watch him depart
While you tighten the girths on the horse of your heart.
There is something between you that both understand
As it thrills an old message from bit-bar to hand.
As he changes his feet in that plunge of desire
To the thud of his hoofs all your courage takes fire.
When an afternoon fox is away, when begins
The rush down the headland that edges the whins,
When you challenge the Field, making sure of a start,
Would you ask any horse but this horse of your heart?
There's the rasping big double a green one would shirk,
But the old fellow knows it as part of his work;
He has shortened his stride, he has measured the task,
He is up, on, and over as clean as you'd ask.
There's the water before you-no novice's test,
But a jump to try deeply the boldest and best;
Just a tug at the leather, a lift of the ear,
And the old horse is over it-twenty foot clear.
There is four foot of wall and a take-off in plough,
And you're glad you are riding no tenderfoot now
But a seasoned campaigner, a master of art,
The perfect performer-the horse of your heart.
For here's where the raw one will falter and baulk,
And here's where the tyro is pulled to a walk,
But the horse of your heart never dwells or demurs
And is over the top to a touch of the spurs.
To you who ride young ones half-schooled and half-broke,
What joy to find freedom a while from your yoke!
What bliss to be launched with the luck of the start
On the old one, the proved one, the horse of your heart !


The Man And His Horse by Anne Kingsmill Finch

Within a Meadow, on the way,
A sordid Churl resolv'd to stay,
And give his Horse a Bite;
Purloining so his Neighbours Hay,
That at the Inn he might not pay
For Forage all the Night.

With Heart's content th' unloaded Steed
Began to neigh, and frisk, and feed;
For nothing more he car'd,
Since none of all his Master's breed
E'er found such Pasture, at their need,
Or half so well had far'd.

When, in the turning of a Hand,
Out comes the Owner of the Land,
And do's the Trespass eye;
Which puts poor Bayard to a Stand,
For now his Master do's command
Him to return and fly.

But Hunger quick'ning up his Wit,
And Grass being sweeter than the Bit,
He to the Clown reply'd;
Shall I for you this Dinner quit,
Who to my Back hard Burdens fit,
And to the Death wou'd ride?

No; shou'd I as a Stray be found,
And seiz'd upon forbidden Ground,
I'll on this Spot stand still;
For tho' new Riders shou'd abound,
(Or did Mankind this Field surround)
They cou'd but use me ill.

Urge no Man to despair; lest in the Fit
He with some Counterblow thy Head may hit.


The White Horse by David Herbert Lawrence

The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on
and the horse looks at him in silence.
They are so silent, they are in another world.


Horse by Louise Gluck

What does the horse give you
That I cannot give you?

I watch you when you are alone,
When you ride into the field behind the dairy,
Your hands buried in the mare's
Dark mane.

Then I know what lies behind your silence:
Scorn, hatred of me, of marriage. Still,
You want me to touch you; you cry out
As brides cry, but when I look at you I see
There are no children in your body.
Then what is there?

Nothing, I think. Only haste
To die before I die.

In a dream, I watched you ride the horse
Over the dry fields and then
Dismount: you two walked together;
In the dark, you had no shadows.
But I felt them coming toward me
Since at night they go anywhere,
They are their own masters.

Look at me. You think I don't understand?
What is the animal
If not passage out of this life?


The Undertaker's Horse by Rudyard Kipling

The eldest son bestrides him,
And the pretty daughter rides him,
And I meet him oft o' mornings on the Course;
And there kindles in my bosom
An emotion chill and gruesome
As I canter past the Undertaker's Horse.

Neither shies he nor is restive,
But a hideously suggestive
Trot, professional and placid, he affects;
And the cadence of his hoof-beats
To my mind this grim reproof beats: --
"Mend your pace, my friend, I'm coming. Who's the next?"

Ah! stud-bred of ill-omen,
I have watched the strongest go -- men
Of pith and might and muscle -- at your heels,
Down the plantain-bordered highway,
(Heaven send it ne'er be my way!)
In a lacquered box and jetty upon wheels.

Answer, sombre beast and dreary,
Where is Brown, the young, the cheery,
Smith, the pride of all his friends and half the Force?
You were at that last dread dak
We must cover at a walk,
Bring them back to me, O Undertaker's Horse!

With your mane unhogged and flowing,
And your curious way of going,
And that businesslike black crimping of your tail,
E'en with Beauty on your back, Sir,
Pacing as a lady's hack, Sir,
What wonder when I meet you I turn pale?

It may be you wait your time, Beast,
Till I write my last bad rhyme, Beast --
Quit the sunlight, cut the rhyming, drop the glass --
Follow after with the others,
Where some dusky heathen smothers
Us with marigolds in lieu of English grass.

Or, perchance, in years to follow,
I shall watch your plump sides hollow,
See Carnifex (gone lame) become a corse --
See old age at last o'erpower you,
And the Station Pack devour you,
I shall chuckle then, O Undertaker's Horse!

But to insult, jibe, and quest, I've
Still the hideously suggestive
Trot that hammers out the unrelenting text,
And I hear it hard behind me
In what place soe'er I find me: --
"'Sure to catch you sooner or later. Who's the next?"


The High Horse by Carolyn Wells

The High Horse often takes a foremost place
Among the winners of the human race.
They say one needs both brawn and brain to ride him,
And even then 'tis very hard to guide him.
His jockeys gaily prance and boldly scoff,
But soon or late they're sure to tumble off.


The Fly-Away Horse by Eugene Field

Oh, a wonderful horse is the Fly-Away Horse--
Perhaps you have seen him before;
Perhaps, while you slept, his shadow has swept
Through the moonlight that floats on the floor.
For it's only at night, when the stars twinkle bright,
That the Fly-Away Horse, with a neigh
And a pull at his rein and a toss of his mane,
Is up on his heels and away!
The moon in the sky,
As he gallopeth by,
Cries: "Oh! What a marvelous sight!"
And the Stars in dismay
Hide their faces away
In the lap of old Grandmother Night.

It is yonder, out yonder, the Fly-Away Horse
Speedeth ever and ever away--
Over meadows and lane, over mountains and plains,
Over streamlets that sing at their play;
And over the sea like a ghost sweepeth he,
While the ships they go sailing below,
And he speedeth so fast that the men on the mast
Adjudge him some portent of woe.
"What ho, there!" they cry,
As he flourishes by
With a whisk of his beautiful tail;
And the fish in the sea
Are as scared as can be,
From the nautilus up to the whale!

And the Fly-Away Horse seeks those far-away lands
You little folk dream of at night--
Where candy-trees grow, and honey-brooks flow,
And corn-fields with popcorn are white;
And the beasts in the wood are ever so good
To children who visit them there--
What glory astride of a lion to ride,
Or to wrestle around with a bear!
The monkeys, they say:
"Come on, let us play,"
And they frisk in the coconut-trees:
While the parrots, that cling
To the peanut-vines sing
Or converse with comparative ease!

Off! scamper to bed -- you shall ride him to-night!
For, as soon as you've fallen asleep,
With a jubilant neigh he shall bear you away
Over forest and hillside and deep!
But tell us, my dear, all you see and you hear
In those beautiful lands over there,
Where the Fly-Away Horse wings his far-away course
With the wee one consigned to his care.
Then grandma will cry
In amazement: "Oh, my!"
And she'll think it could never be so.
And only we two
Shall know it is true--
You and I, little precious! shall know!


The Old Horse in the City by Vachel Lindsay

The moon's a peck of corn. It lies
Heaped up for me to eat.
I wish that I might climb the path
And taste that supper sweet.

Men feed me straw and scanty grain
And beat me till I'm sore.
Some day I'll break the halter-rope
And smash the stable-door,

Run down the street and mount the hill
Just as the corn appears.
I've seen it rise at certain times
For years and years and years.


Don't Cry For The Horses by Brenda Riley-Seymore

Don't cry for the horses that life has set free.
A million white horses, forever to be.
Don't cry for the horses now in God's hands.
As they dance and prance to a heavenly band.

They were ours as a gift, but never to keep
As they close their eyes, forever to sleep.
Their spirits unbound, forever to fly.
A million white horses, against the blue sky.

Look up into Heaven. You will see them above.
The horse we lost, the horse we loved.
Manes and tails flying, they gallop through time.
They were never yours, they were never mine.

Don't cry for the horses, they will be back someday.
When our time has come, they will show us the way.
Do you hear that soft nicker close to your ear?
Don't cry for the horses, love the ones that are here.


These poems are sure to instill love for these lovable beasts. Please feel free to contribute more poems in the section below.