“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”
Many people may remember hearing these lines at some time, and many may be able to recite them, but not many may know that they were written by Australia’s national poet – Adam Lindsay Gordon – who had a significant impact on the history of South Australia.
Gordon, who lived almost half his short life in Australia, spent 14 years in the south-east of South Australia, where he was a trooper, horse breaker, politician, poet and steeplechase rider, before moving to Ballarat, where he conducted the livery stable business adjoining Craig’s Royal Hotel, after which he moved to Brighton in Melbourne. On 10 October 1868 he rode three winners in one day at Flemington, where a plaque commemorates this feat.
An extraordinary horseman, his famous dare-devil ‘leap’ alongside the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier has never been emulated. His former home, Dingley Dell Cottage, which he bought 155 years ago, is today a museum and a living memory to the man and his works – a place where the spirit of Adam Lindsay Gordon lives on. Gordon of Dingley Dell is a comprehensive account of the poet’s life, intertwined with the history of the day, and includes a selection of Gordon’s best-known and loved verses.
Unfortunately, his ability as a poet was underestimated until after his death in 1870. He became known as the National Poet of Australia in 1934, and was honoured with a bust in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abby; the only Australian poet to be so honoured.
Published by: Freestyle Publications
SECOND EDITION. First published in 2003, this book has now been updated with additional material and photos to more thoroughly reflect the life of the renowned poet.