English-born poet Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-70) arrived in Adelaide in 1852 where he joined the South Australian Mounted Police. After three years he resigned to become a drover and horsebreaker and by the 1860s had become well known as a steeplechase rider in country areas of South Australia.

He published his first poem "The Feud" in 1864 and three years later his first two volumes of poetry, Ashtaroth and Sea Spray and Smoke Drift. During this period Gordon was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly but in 1868 he moved to Victoria. Thereafter, he continued a life which combined riding with verse writing. In 1870 his Bush Ballads and Galloping Rhymes was published. Depressed by financial difficulties and lack of critical acclaim, Gordon committed suicide on the day after it was published.

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