Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

Casabianca

Poem by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

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.


Comments about Casabianca by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

  • matggccfbb (4/1/2020 7:07:00 AM)

    it is a very goog poem good poem(Report)Reply

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  • Mostafizur rahman (2/21/2020 10:37:00 PM)

    Add a comment.good to learn the bravery and firmness of character of a teenage boy.(Report)Reply

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  • Jude P. (2/4/2020 8:06:00 PM)

    I first read thispoem when I was 7 and my main response was " for heaven's sake, JUMP" . Half a century later, while I realise that the poem is meant to celebrate the child's fidelity to his father's command, I still have a similar reaction with, in addition, anger that a father should demand such obedience without teaching him that sometimes you don't wait for permission. Sometimes it's just not possible to see bravery in stupidity.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Peter Bolton (11/28/2019 3:36:00 PM)

    This version contains the usual error, it should be: 'And" —but the booming shots replied, ' His cries are thus dramatically interrupted. Hemans would never write 'And but', which makes no sense.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Ad pandey (3/24/2019 6:42:00 AM)

    Wao what a great story(Report)Reply

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  • awika (7/5/2018 8:34:00 PM)

    Its a very nice poem(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Sara MilitelloSara Militello (11/1/2015 5:41:00 PM)

    Nice! That first stanza sure gets the attention of the reader! 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.

    I'd begun to read this poem on another day, but I'd managed to burn what I'd been heating on the stove and had to run for it. But that first stanza stayed with me to critique it in a better frame of time. This is a top notch poem. It enjoys a great rhythm and alternately rhymed endings. and the story it tells moves along from beginning to its bitter end. I was in tears even before I got to the end. Your use of metaphor and euphemism id great. I give this one a 10+(Report)Reply

    Syed Amjad Ali(2/21/2016 12:02:00 PM)

    great words..

    8 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Oduro Bright Amoh (11/1/2015 2:59:00 PM)

    When tragedy is written in such an easy to read way, it touches the very soul.(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (11/1/2015 12:13:00 PM)

    Those unforgettable words plunged me straightaway into the tragic story. The woman had a talent for writing stories in easy reading verseose memorable first lines plunged me straight(Report)Reply

    37 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • M Asim NehalM Asim Nehal (11/1/2015 12:12:00 PM)

    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..Amusing.(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Seema JayaramanSeema Jayaraman (11/1/2015 10:35:00 AM)

    So poignant a poem.. my heart was in my mouth still hoping the brave lil boy had a miraculous escape from the raging fire and wreck.. very beautifully and sensitively depicted.. thanks for sharing(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (11/1/2015 4:20:00 AM)

    That lone post of death. Nice piece of work.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Ari AlsioAri Alsio (11/1/2015 3:19:00 AM)

    I love in deep
    again in our love nest
    the paradise 10+(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Nar Bahadur GhimireyNar Bahadur Ghimirey (11/1/2015 1:39:00 AM)

    Awesome poem(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (11/1/2015 1:39:00 AM)

    Awesome poem depicting equally awesome scene. Bravery and courage of the boy was unquestionable. This poem reminded me my school days. In a vernacular medium school it was in text book and our teacher Mr. Tambekar used to teach it with full dedication in a superb way. Thanks for sharing.10+++++(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Shankaran Kutty (8/11/2015 11:59:00 AM)

    Unbelievable Poem... the noblest thing that perished there was that young faithful heart... No one could have penned these lines better(Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
Read all 17 comments »

# 444 poem on top 500 Poems

Casabianca Score Card

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3,1 / 5 (91 votes)16



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Read poems about / on: father, despair, son, death, beautiful, child, hair, sea, sky, children, wind



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004