Four In-Hand

Four In-Hand

Today’s horse poetry is another one written in 1898 by William Ogilvie, a Scottish narrative poet and horse lover. This time something a little more upbeat to prove he has a lighter side.

Four In-Hand

Some prefer a single,
Or double not too free;
But let the lead bars jingle —
It’s Four-in-Hand for me;

With a level road and a lively load,
Whose chorus songs shall beat
To the hoof-struck stars, and the rattling bars.
And the ring of the red roans’ feet!

We’ll meet some risks as we move along —
And maybe more than we dream;
But we only ask for harness strong,
And room to handle the team.

I’ll give the rein, and give again.
And whirl the whip-lash free,
Till every place shall know my pace
My four red roans and me!

Our Life’s too short for dreaming,
And Life’s too swift for tears,
With all the wide world flying:
Beyond our leaders’ ears;

The white dust whirls to blind us,
The coach top rocks and reels,
But trouble’s flung behind us
Beneath our roaring wheels!

By day the sun shall light us.
The peaks of pleasure guide;
No storms have power to smite us,
So fast we race and ride!

By night, through moon-wash spinning.
We’ll mock the million stars.
With all Luck’s goblins grinning
Astride our swingle-bars!

So lift the loin-cloths from the reds
And hand me up the whip ;
Let go the plunging leader’s heads
And let the beauties rip !

Here’s luck to shoulders foam-impearled.
And eyes where wild-fires gleam!
We’ll swing the red roans round the world
Till Death reins up the team!

Amazing Imagery

It’s clear Ogilvie was a horseman and I really enjoy the imagery he paints with his words. If you liked this you may also like the more somber How The Chestnut Horse Came Home.