Treasure Island

Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

The College Colonel


He rides at their head;
A crutch by his saddle just slants in view,
One slung arm in splints, you see,
Yet he guides his strong steed - how coldly too.

He brings his regiment home -
Not as they filed two years before,
But a remnant half-tattered, and battered, and worn,
Like castaway sailors, who - stunned
By the surf's loud roar,
Their mates dragged back and seen no more -
Again and again breast the surge,
And at last crawl, spent, to shore.

A still rigidity and pale -
An Indian aloofness lines his brow;
He has lived a thousand years
Compressed in battle's pains and prayers,
Marches and watches slow.

There are welcoming shots, and flags;
Old men off hat to the Boy,
Wreaths from gay balconies fall at his feet,
But to him - there comes alloy.

It is not that a leg is lost,
It is not that an arm is maimed,
It is not that the fever has racked -
Self he has long since disclaimed.

But all through the Seven Days' Fight,
And deep in the Wilderness grim,
And in the field-hospital tent,
And Petersburg crater, and dim
Lean brooding in Libby, there came -
Ah heaven! - what truth to him.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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

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 (The College Colonel by Herman Melville )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

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. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Mistakes, Delia Anna
  2. I'ts Not a Sin to Love You Like This..., wanderer sailor
  3. Psalm 096, Forrest Hainline
  4. Slaves To Appearances, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  5. Changes Can Be Painful, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  6. Rain Affects Incident Light, mary douglas
  7. Maypole Dancing Dulcet As Spring, mary douglas
  8. Wish to Say Something, V P Mahur
  9. Nuclear Love, Monk E. Biz
  10. Wish Day Or Wash Day And Combine, mary douglas

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]