Treasure Island

Richard Francis Burton

(1821 - 1890 / England)

On A Ferry Boat


THE RIVER widens to a pathless sea
Beneath the rain and mist and sullen skies.
Look out the window; ’t is a gray emprise,
This piloting of massed humanity
On such a day, from shore to busy shore,
And breeds the thought that beauty is no more.

But see yon woman in the cabin seat,
The Southland in her face and foreign dress;
She bends above a babe, with tenderness
That mothers use; her mouth grows soft and sweet.
Then, lifting eyes, ye saints in heaven, what pain
In that strange look of hers into the rain!

There lies a vivid band of scarlet red
With careless grace across her raven hair;
Her cheek burns brown; and ’t is her way to wear
A gown where colors stand in satin’s stead.
Her eye gleams dark as any you may see
Along the winding roads of Italy.

What dreamings must be hers of sunny climes,
This beggar woman midst the draggled throng!
How must she pine for solaces of song,
For warmth and love to furnish laughing-times!
Her every glance upon the waters gray
Is piteous with some lost yesterday.

I ’ve seen a dove, storm-beaten, far at sea;
And once a flower growing stark alone
From out a rock; I ’ve heard a hound make moan,
Left masterless: but never came to me
Ere this such sense of creatures torn apart
From all that fondles life and feeds the heart.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: raven, woman, rain, sea, flower, river, hair, song, red, beauty, heaven, lost, pain, alone, dark, women, water, wind, sky

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (On A Ferry Boat by Richard Francis Burton )

Enter the verification code :

  • Stephen W (12/30/2013 8:41:00 PM)

    Dunno why people give top poets such low scores.5.9! Surely you jest. He's pretty good. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. I Wake Up, Katy Rotundo
  2. Kira I Care, Michael McParland
  3. Random, Kasey Jessie
  4. The poet Is Tired, Tony Adah
  5. Making Up!, Denis Martindale
  6. I Will Never Be You, Katy Rotundo
  7. True Love, Michael McParland
  8. The Thief, Tony Adah
  9. She Tore The Page With The Rose On It, mary douglas
  10. Lost Saints Wandered Through Forests Of .., mary douglas

Poem of the Day

poet Helen Hunt Jackson

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]