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The boy stood on the burning deck,
Whence all but he had fled;
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 child-like form.
The flames rollid 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 ?”.
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 rollid on.
182 NARRATIVE AND LEGENDARY POEMS.
Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
In still yet brave despair.
And shouted but once more aloud,
“My father! must I stay?”
The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapp'd the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
Like banners in the sky.
There came a burst of thunder-sound,
The boy,—oh where was he?
With fragments strew'd the sea !
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part,
Was that young and faithful heart!
“ But hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Could crystallize this sacred treasure !
A secret source of pensive pleasure.
The little brilliant, ere it fell,
Its lustre caught from Chloe's eye ; Then, trembling, left its coral cell
The spring of sensibility!