Adam Lindsay Gordon

I am currently reading through Brough Scott’s ‘Henry Cecil – Trainer of Genius’ and came across these four lines of philosophical poetry:

Life is mainly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone:
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.

Brough Scott included these lines in the part of the book where he describes the depths that Henry Cecil had descended to in his personal and professional life in the early part of the first decade of this century.

These lines were written by Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833 – 1870) who was a politician, poet and jockey in Australia. A short life full of travels that started in the Azores and ended tragically in Melbourne where there is a memorial statue to the man with these prophetic lines engraved on the plinth.

In March 1870 Gordon suffered from a bad fall while competing in a steeplechase from which he never fully recovered. On 23rd June that same year he had a book published titled ‘Bush Ballads and Galloping Rhymes. He found out from his publisher that he owed them money for the printing costs and realised he had absolutely no means to pay off the debt. Early in the morning of 24th June he left his home to go for a walk. His only companions were a shotgun, a few cartridges and his own private desperate thoughts.

Andrew Lindsay Gordon


About alangrenville

I live in southern Britain near the fabulous New Forest. While studying for a BSc in International Studies I have developed a strong belief in 'NIBAW' or 'nothing is black and white'. Hence my favourite saying "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" (John F Kennedy).
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