The boy stod 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 child-like 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 wavung 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!
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part -
But the noblest thing that perished there
Was that young, faithful heart.
© Felicia Hemans
Put into WWW by Josella Simone Playton
1997-09-13 18:00:00 MEST .. 1999-07-02 20:33:02 MEST
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