Casabianca Poem by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Casabianca

Rating: 3.2


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 OF THE POEM
Susan Williams 01 November 2015

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

37 3 Reply
Shankaran Kutty 11 August 2015

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

12 5 Reply
Oduro Bright Amoh 01 November 2015

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

9 4 Reply
Sara Militello 01 November 2015

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+

8 3 Reply
Syed Amjad Ali 21 February 2016

great words..

0 0 Reply
Olivia Bolton 03 August 2020

I love it I wish it had more impression

1 0 Reply
matggccfbb 01 April 2020

it is a very goog poem good poem

1 0 Reply
Mostafizur rahman 21 February 2020

Add a comment.good to learn the bravery and firmness of character of a teenage boy.

0 0 Reply
Jude P. 04 February 2020

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.

2 0 Reply
Peter Bolton 28 November 2019

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.

2 0 Reply
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