English Poems Index

Casabianca :

The boy stood on the burning deck,

Whence all but him had fled.

The flame that lit the battle's wreck

Shone round him o'er 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 shots 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.

There came a burst of thunder sound-

The boy-oh! Where was he?

-Ask of the winds that far around

With fragments strewed the sea!

By Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Words to Know :

Whence : from where

Wreck : (here) a ship that has been damaged at sea

Heroic : having brave qualities

Fast the flames rolled : the fire spread quickly

Shroud : (here) the ropes from the mast to the ship's sides

Wreathing fires : fire that surrounded/encircled everything

Strewed : covered

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