21 Apr 2010

THE BOY STOOD ON ..........

After nursery rhymes, my first introduction to verse was probably this, to my child's ears, 'naughty', rather rude rhyme.

The boy stood on the burning deck
Playing a game of cricket,
The ball flew down his trouser leg
And hit his middle wicket.

(Click HERE for an even 'naughtier' version)

Upon 'googling' (or in this instance 'binging') I came across the original verse of CASABIANCA
or as it is probably better known 'The Boy Stood On The Burning Deck' on which 'my' poem is based.

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he 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 roll'd on...he would not go
Without his father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.
He call'd 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 roll'd 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 one more aloud,
"My father, must I stay?"
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud
The wreathing fires made way,
They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And stream'd above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.

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 which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.

I must confess to this being my favourite FreeVerse poem so far but what of it's writer?
Liverpool born Felicia Dorothea Hemans (nee Browne) was born in 1793 and had her first poems (dedicated to the Prince Of Wales) published in 1808.
A woman ahead of her time, her poetry offered a woman's voice confiding a woman's trials with her most successful book, RECORDS OF WOMEN (1828) chronicling the lives of woman both famous as well as anonymous.
(Click HERE to read more.)
FreeVerse is a weekly meme hosted by CARA at Ooh ... Books.


Kelly said...

Not a poem, or author for that matter, that I am familiar with. I like it, though, and that's the whole point of FreeVerse, isn't it!

The one at the top is pretty funny, too. I remember a few 'naughty' limericks from childhood as well. Kids will be kids.

TheLittleFlower said...

LOL! I love the poem!

Kissed by an Angel said...

Oh dear, I'll show my ignorance now, I only ever heard the first verse! I didn't know there was more!

chitra said...

Loved the poem . The boy faithfulness was really touching . Thanks for sharing.

Valerie said...

The poet is new to me!

You balanced out funny and sad with both poems. Interesting to find the original source for the "naughty" one!

Pam said...

Lol at the "naughty" poem. When my son was younger he learned one about beans. If I never hear it again, it will be okay. : )

Oddyoddyo13 said...

That was such a beautiful poem! The end tied up wonderfully.

Jenners said...

I love naughty little poems! : )

Jennifer McLean said...

hiya, just thought I'd drop by and say hi, so... HI.

lol. Who won your blogoversary contest? What did you do on your blogoversary to celebrate your own awesomeness??

Anonymous said...

I love a good naughty poem. The original is pretty awesome too.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I so loved thi!
Such beautiful and meaningful poem!
Thanks for sharing.
I also thank you for your lovely comments on my blog!

Wishing you a good day!
Big Big Hugs!

Alyce said...

I haven't seen either of these before. The first one is definitely funny, the second touching.

quid said...

Gave me the giggles!