HOOFS OF THE HORSES
by Will Ogilvie (1869-1963)
The hoofs of the horses!—Oh! witching and sweet
Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet;
No whisper of lover, no trilling of bird
Can stir me as hoofs of the horses have stirred.
They spurn disappointment and trample despair,
And drown with their drum-beats the challenge of care;
With scarlet and silk for their banners above,
They are swifter then Fortune and sweeter than Love.
On the wings of the morning they gather and fly,
In the hush of the night-time I hear them go by—
The horses of memory thundering through
With flashing white fetlocks all wet with the dew.
When you lay me to slumber no spot can you choose
But will ring to the rhythm of galloping shoes,
And under the daisies no grave be so deep
But the hoofs of the horses shall sound in my sleep
by Will Ogilvie from “Galloping Shoes,” 1922
We are pleased to introduce the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster, “Out to Pasture” by Oregon’s Clara Smith (ClaraSmithArt.com), selected as the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster image and a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur.
Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.
Clara Smith comments on her painting, “This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.”
From her official bio: “Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.”
Cowboy Poetry Week is celebrated each year during April, National Poetry Month in the United States.
In 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week—the seventeenth annual—takes place April 15-21, 2018.
Hundreds of rural libraries receive the Cowboy Poetry Week poster and an invitation for the year’s CD. This year, there is a double-CD of the poetry of S. Omar Barker, with over 60 tracks by today’s popular reciters and poets.
CowboyPoetry.com initiated Cowboy Poetry Week, and for the celebration’s second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Poetry Week celebration. Twenty-three states’ governors and other officials have recognized Cowboy Poetry Week since, and many activities take place in communities across the West and beyond.
Spread the word! Share the Cowboy Poetry Week poster, get involved.
Scotsman Will Ogilvie lived in Australia for a dozen years, where he became a top station hand, drover, and horse breaker.
Wylie Gustafson set the poem to music, and the song appears on Wylie & the Wild West’s Hooves of the Horses CD. Find a video here.
In a 2017 episode of Andy Hedges’ Cowboy Crossroads, respected horseman, braider, and reciter Randy Rieman gives his impressive presentation of the poem (at 39:40).
Ogilvie was a popular writer who contributed to the Bulletin—the paper that published poets and writers including Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, Harry “Breaker” Morant (Ogilvie’s close friend), and others—even after his return to Scotland.
Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.