Adam Lindsay Gordon
1833 - 1870
Quote from the introduction of the book "The Poetical Works of Adam Lindsay Gordon" published about 1912
This was a poet that loved God's breath,
His life was a passionate quest;
He looked down deepin the wells of death,
And now he is taking his rest.
On a grey winter's morning June 24th 1870, Adam Lindsay Gordon was found lying dead in the scrub near Brighton, Victoria. On that morning the first of Australian poets took the short cut to the Great Beyond, just when the light of literary fame had begun to shine through the dark clouds of poverty and neglect. That fame has extended with each passing year, until Gordon is now the best known, if not always acknowledged as the greatest, poet Australia has produced. His verse contains an idefinable charm that appeals strongly to the hearts of all English speaking people.
Adam Lindsay Gordon first set foot on Australian soil at Port Adelade, and the beautiful south-eastern district inspired his finest verse. His home was called Dingley Dell.
The son of a captain of the Indian Army, Gordon was born in the Azores Islands in 1833. The high-spirited boy's educational career at Cheltenham College was the reverse of successful. He was by no means backwards, but prefered a bout with the gloves or mad gallop to scholastic attainments.
Arriving at Port Adelaide in the Julia on November 14, 1853, he was immediately admitted to the mounted police force.
7 years after he had left the police force he met and married Miss Maggie Park.
He inherited seven thousand pounds from his mother and with this alteration in his financial affairs his position in the district rapidly advanced, until he finally stood for Parliament and narrowly defeated a formidable opponent in the then Attorney General, Randolf Stow.