Historical Poem 1883
The Wheelman's Joy
By Paul Pastnor
Outing and the Wheelman p. 143
The shadow of my silent steed
Flies over hill and vale,
As swiftly as the clouds that speed
On Notus' fav'ring gale.
No whip, no spur, its sleek thigh wounds;
Nor galls the chaffing rein;
But, free as Helios' steed, it bounds
Along the shining plain.
Fly on, fly on, my glorious wheel,
And round the belted earth
Go flashing with thy spokes of steel,
Like star on heaven's girth!
My toils, my cares I leave behind;
Away, away I spin.
The birds that travel on the wind
Seem all my kith and kin.
Look how the groves go by the fields,
The fields go by the groves!
What joy the flying 'cycle yields,
As swiftly on it moves!
Now cleaving with its noiseless hoof
The white dust of the plain;
Now sliding down the mountain's roof
Like a silver drop of rain!
Oh, merry are the wheelman's days;
His dreams are deep and sweet;
He glides down all life's troubled ways
With velvet 'neath his feet!
More 19th-century cycling pieces:
A Burglar, A Bicycle, and A Storm (Fiction—1896)
A Cycle of the Seasons: A Bicycle Romance in Four Meets (Fiction—1883)
A Cycle Show in Little (1896)
A Header (?) (Poem—1883)
A Midwinter-Night's Dream (1883)
A Modern Love Sung in Ancient Fashion (Poem—1884)
Bicycle Riding In The United States (1881)
Bicycling and Tricycling (1884)
Bikes on Trains (1883)
Cycling's Value As An Exercise (1879)
Cycling for Women (1888)
Is Bicycling Harmful? (1896)
An Early Morning Ride (Poem—1883)
The Evolution of a Sport (1896)
Foreign [Bicycling News] (1884)
My Wheel (Poem —1883)
'Neath the Magnolias (Poem—1883)
On Wings of Love (Poem—1884)
Rosalind A Wheel (Fiction—1896)
Snakes in his Wheel (1895)
Wheelman's Song (Poem—1883)
The Work of Wheelmen for Better Roads (1896)
Woman's Cycle (1896)
Back to Historical Articles Index
An article about us in Bicycling magazine:
"How To Bike Like A Victorian"
A few of Sarah's accounts of our Victorian cycling adventures:
The Flower Fields of the Skagit Valley:
A Trip to A Lavender Festival:
The Tricycle's Maiden Voyage:
The Chilly Hilly ride:
Port Townsend to Port Gamble:
Sarah ALWAYS wears a corset—even while cycling. Here's an excerpt from her book about it:
Rebuttal of an erroneous article:
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Tales of Chetzemoka
The Wheelman's Joy
Victorian Cycling Poetry and Words About Wheels
There is something inherently romantic about cycling, and there has been since the first riders set their wheels to the road. This collection of nineteenth-century poetry, prose quotes and bon-mots about cycling reflects both the ardent passion and the innocent affection cycling inspires. From the glory days of high-wheel cycling through the boom of the safety bicycle, riders were falling in love with their wheels, with new-found freedoms, and above all with each other. This delightful little collection tells of those days in their own words, and evokes sentiments which every cyclist will find timeless. Compiled edited and introduced by Sarah A. Chrisman, author of the charming Tales of Chetzemoka cycling club series, This Victorian Life, Victorian Secrets, and others.
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