The strong-neck’d steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.
Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder;
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven’s thunder;
The iron bit he crushes ’tween his teeth,
Controlling what he was controlled with.
Venus and Adonis (274-81)
Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
In limning out a well-proportion’d steed,
His art with nature’s workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed;
So did this horse excel a common one,
In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone.
Round-hoof’d, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide:
Look, what a horse should have he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
Venus and Adonis (289-301)
What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ça, ha! He bounds from the earth as if his entrails were hairs: le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui a les narines de feu! When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
Henry V (3.7.9)
Orl.I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s mistress.
Dau. Then did they imitate that which I composed to my courser; for my horse is my mistress….
Orl.Your mistress bears well.
Con. You have good judgment in horsemanship.
Dau. Be warned by me, then: they that ride so, and ride not warily, fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.
Henry V (3.7.16-25)
He doth nothing but talk of his horse.
The Merchant of Venice(1.2.10)
K. Rich. A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Cate. Withdraw, my lord; I’ll help you to a horse.
K. Rich. Slave! I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die.
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day, instead of him.—
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
King Richard III (5.4.10-17)