"Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbour,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone:
KINDNESS in another's trouble.
COURAGE in your own".
—Adam Lindsay Gordon
"Gordon is one of the finest poetic singers the English race has ever known".
—Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright, novelist, poet and author
"...he was the poet of the
horse. No other poet ever understood horses so well. He made the
live in his poems. The rhythm in his poems was the rhythm of riding.
But they contained also such lofty philosophy of manhood as only such a hero
could have penned".
—Douglas Sladen, biographer
"A shining soul with syllables of
fire who sang the first great songs this land can claim to be their own..."
—Henry Kendall, friend and fellow poet
"Adam Lindsay Gordon has left Australia a sterling, manly ideal for its manhood and its poetry, and it could not have had a more robust master".
—John Masefield, Poet Laureate
"Gordon is the voice of the
national life of one of the young nations of the British race. Thus to him,
exiled once and now brought home, England gives a place among her own most
honoured dead; and the memorial of him here will be an enduring link between
Australia and the Motherland".
—Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury
"Oh, Gordon was, I think,
the noblest fellow who ever lived! Very queer in his ways, though. I have ridden
ten miles with him at walking pace, and he didn't say a word the whole time, but
went on mumbling to himself, making up rhymes in his head".
—William Trainor, friend
"We read Gordon, not for his
fine phrases, but for the directness of some cry, and above all for the breadth
and effectiveness of any utterance taken as a whole. And we read him because
even if we ourselves are not hunters, sportsmen, soldiers, adventurers he
uncovers some underlying stratum of such men in us, opening up to us the road of
adventure and blowing over it the wind of romance".
—H M Green, reviewing Gordon's poetry
"The poems of Gordon have an
interest beyond the mere personal one which his friends attach to his name.
Written as they were, at odd times and leisure moments of a stirring and
adventurous life, it is not to be wondered if they are unequal or unfinished.
The astonishment of those who knew the man, and can gauge the capacity of this
city to foster poetic instinct, is, that such work was ever produced here at all".
—Marcus Clarke, author of "For the Term of his Natural Life"
"And what shall we say of
our debt to him? This at least – it can never be repaid. Centuries hence, when
men go up beside the banks of the noble stream of great poetry, which we believe
will one day gladden the city and humanize and fertilize and deepen our
Australian national life, as they climb reverently to its source, they will find
on a broken memorial column, in letters that cannot fade, the name of ADAM
—Frank Maldon Robb, biographer
"Gordon was a fine poet and
a fine sportsman, and it is curious that in a sporting nation like ours his
great merits have not been more generally recognised".
—Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of 'Sherlock Holmes'
"His poetry was the poetry
of action, of joy in movement, of glory in the strength of man and the swift
grace of a horse. It had the kinetic quality of poetic vigour rather than
the dynamic of poetic energy".
—Manchester Guardian, 5 August 1833
"Gordon knew both pleasures and trials. He not only experienced them, but was inspired by them, and set them down in matchless poetry, and left to Australia a great literary legacy. Gordon's poems rang with sincerity".
—Sir Stanley Argyle, Premier of Victoria