An errant life may not be bad at allJune 23, 2014

Adam Lindsay Gordon was no different from other writers.

Gordon lived an errant life, unable to stay in one place for long. It was his destiny. He was unable to focus on his studies, but it didn't mean that he was disinterested in literature. On the contrary, he shown enthusiasm in English, Latin, and Greek. His father sensed that his son won't do well in England, so he sent him to Australia.

Down Under was an untamed territory during the nineteenth century, suited to the likes of Gordon. Adventure awaited those who seek it, and in Gordon's case, he found it in horse riding. He was fond of the four-legged creature since he was a laddie. Perhaps this was his only link to the continent, which he would never set foot again. But there was no mistaking that the budding writer would identify with this animal. Any activity or venture involving horses became part of the young Gordon's routine, but he had no business sense whatsoever. He was also likable, leading to a stint in politics. However, he found out that governance was anything but exciting. During his free time, Gordon wrote poems, which didn't give him a secure lifestyle. Nonetheless, he found joy in many occasions, the horse a representation of those fleeting moments.

"Oh! brave white horses! you gather and gallop,

The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins;

Oh! brave white horses! you gather and gallop,

The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins;

Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop

In your hollow backs, on your high arched manes."

- "The Swimmer" (1870)

One must be able to know more about Gordon's life in able to understand his character. Here is a comprehensive account of his young life:

1. Gordon was born in Fayal Island, a part of Azores, a group of islands off Portugal. His father, Captain Adam Durnford Gordon, retired from the Bengal cavalry and thought that the warmer climate would improve his wife's health.

2. A few years later, the Gordons moved to another archipelago, the Canary, residing in Madeira.

3. Gordon was seven years of age when he - and the rest of the family - settled in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, located southwest of London. He studied in Cheltenham College, and then the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, which was southeast of London.

4. Trouble followed him, money-related matters in particular. The elder Gordon thought that a land far and away would help him. The young Gordon was only twenty years of age when he arrived in Adelaide, a small community back then.

5. Gordon's most memorable experience took place in Mount Gambier, a maar complex believed to be the site of Australia's youngest volcanoes. On Blue Lake, one of the largest crater lakes in that area, he made a leap which was so impressive that an obelisk was erected near the spot (where he achieved the feat). An inscription was engraved, a reminder that being errant may not be bad at all.

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