The boy stood on the burning deck, whence all but him had fled;
the flame that lite the battle's wreck, shone round him over the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood, as born to rule the storm;
a creature of heroic blood, a proud, though childlike form.
The flames rolled on; he would not go without his father's word;
that father, faint in death below, his voice no longer heard.
He called aloud- “Say, father, say if yet my task is done.”
He knew not that the chieftain lay unconscious of his son.
“Speak, Father,” once again he cried, “If I may yet be gone.”
And- but the booming shot replied, and fast the flames rolled on.
Upon his brow he felt their breath, and in his waving hair;
and looked from that lone post of death, in still, yet brave despair;
And shouted but once more aloud, “My father, must I stay?”
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud, the wreathing fires made way.
They wrapped the ship in splendor wild, they caught the flag on high,
and streamed above the gallant child, like banners in the sky.
Then came a burst of thunder sound- the boy-oh! Where was he?
Ask of the winds, that far around with fragments strewed the sea.
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair, that well had borne their part;
but the noblest thing that perished there, was that young and faithful heart.”
Friday, February 26, 2010
I found this interesting poem in the "McGuffey Second Reader", of which we own a copy. It it entitled "Casabianca," by Felicia Hemans: