Richard Francis Burton

(1821 - 1890 / England)

Richard Francis Burton
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Richard Francis Burton was born near Elstree, Hertfordshire, on March 19, 1821, the son of an army colonel. As a boy he accompanied his parents on their frequent travels about the European continent.
Burton later attended Oxford University, where he was known as "Ruffian Dick" for his long moustaches and penchant for challenging students to duels; he was eventually expelled for attending horse races. He was overjoyed at leaving Oxford; he found the dons and fellow students notably dull, and exited with a flair: he drove his horses and carriage over the flower beds while blowing a trumpet.
At 21 Burton joined the army of the East India Company and was posted to the ... more »

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Best Poem of Richard Francis Burton

Black Sheep

FROM their folded mates they wander far,
Their ways seem harsh and wild:
They follow the beck of a baleful star,
Their paths are dream-beguiled.

Yet haply they sought but a wider range,
Some loftier mountain slope,
And little recked of the country strange
Beyond the gates of hope.

And haply a bell with a luring call
Summoned their feet to tread
Midst the cruel rocks, where the deep pitfall
And the lurking snare are spread.

Maybe, in spite of their tameless days
Of outcast liberty,
They ’re sick at heart ...

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