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Lost quotations

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Daniel Webster's Horses | 26-Oct-04

If when the wind blows, rattling the trees
clicking like skeletons, elbows and knees
you hear along the road you pass
do not go near the dark window glass....

Daniel Webster's horses they said grew
old flesh, I love riding shall I love it cold..
shall I not love to ride bone astride
when the dark wind blows....

10 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!

Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Not sure why this one is so elusive, but I had trouble looking it up too. I think because there is a also a book by that name, we all assume that is a coincidence, and not the same poem. But apparently it is.
I had the great good fortune to be able to keep the four literature anthologies I used in high school--what treasure troves!
"Daniel Webster's Horses" made an impression on me, as it has on so many other searchers, so it was easy to find.
I have a scan, but doubt I can attach it to this format. I'll list the facts, and maybe in the next note, put the poem text.

The anthology credits the poem to Elizabeth Coatsworth, copyright 1929 in "Compass Rose." (Not sure if that's a book or magazine.) Also registered in 1957. The school reader reprinted it with permission from the publisher, Coward-McCann, Inc., New York.
Hope this helps!
Michele Myers Beuerlein

Not sure why this didn't "take" before, but I am resubmitting the text of this poem below.
Michele Myers Beuerlein 1-26-05
By Elizabeth Coastsworth
From "Compass Rose"
copyright 1929 & 1957
published by Coward-McCann, Inc., New York
If when the wind blows
Rattling the trees,
Clicking like skeletons'
Elbows and knees,
Michele Myers Beuerlein

copied this poem out of my English book when I was in gradeschool. Kept it for years and lost it a few years back when I took it to read at a Halloween Endurance Ride. So happy to find another copy
Angie McGhee

I first read this poem when I around nine years old, peeking at my brother's high school literature book. I fell in love with it then and continued to peek at it again every so many years. Now I live in Georgia, and the book is lost somewhere in my parents' house in Connecticut, and I am saddened because it also holds so many other poems that I love. But I am happy to have connected here with my old friend. If I do ever lay my hands on that literature book, I will see if it has any editorial information on the poem and will post it.
Lynne McG.

I would like to know about survival poetry that has been writen before 1900 please I wish i could form you as soon as possible. I am working on it for a long time but my friend told me that this idea is so good because i will read it any way but i only I only need names about survival poetry that has been writen before 1900. thanks to everyone who has helped me.
Mohamed wheda

Ah, this was the poem that got me into poetry. I read it at school and memorised it so I could always have it.

I've always wondered if he had the horses killed so he could take them with him.

Mathmos have just produced a revolving skeleton and horse rider lamp and I think I might buy it to remind me of the poem! It was great to read it here again, thanks for posting it.
Heidi Tillin

is this the true and the complete poem? or there is even more?
please someone tell me, i need this for my english course!
Ahmed Muriel

I had to learn it for my english class...The right version is :

If when the wind blows
rattling the trees
clicking like skeletons
elbows and knees

you hear along the road
three horses pass
do not go near the dark
cold window glass

if when the first snow lies
whiter than bones
you see the mark of hoofs
cut to the stones

hoofs of three horses
going abreast
turn about, turn about
a closed door is best !

upright in the earth
under the sod
they buried thee horses
bridled and shod

Daniel Webster's horses
he said as he grew old
flesh, i loved riding
shall i not love it cold?

shall i not love to ride
bone astride bone
when the cold wind blows
and snow covers stone ?

Bury them on their feet
with bridle and bit
they were fine horses
see their shoes fit.

Sara Lala

Yes, it was written by Elizabeth Coatsworth. I have the book.
In the version written below, just add the apostrophe after skeletons'
a dash after "abreast--"
a comma after "Turn about, turn about,"
a dash after "Daniel Webster's horses--" and quotations around Daniel's speeches: "Flesh,etc
"Shall I, etc
"Bury them...
see their shoes fit!"
(Since you're using this for an English class!)
Great to see the interest in a poem that chilled me!

Bruce Connelly

Loved this poem when I was at primary school many years ago! You will find the complete version in The Beaver Book Of Creepy Verse. Hope this helps!
ruth fletcher

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