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The boy stood on the burning deck,
Whence all but him had fled ;
Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A proud, though child-like form.
The flames rolld on—he would not go,
Without his father's word;
* Young Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, son to the admiral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the battle of the Nile), after the ship had taken fire, and all the guns had been abandoned ; and perished in the explosion of the vessel, when the flames had reached the powder
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 roll’d on.
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 ?” While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapt the ship in splendor wild,
They caught the fag 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 strew'd the sea !
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their partBut the noblest thing that perish'd there,
Was that young faithful heart.
THE ADOPTED CHILD.
“Why wouldst thou leave me, oh! gentle child ?
“Oh! green is the turf where my brothers play,
“ Content thee, boy ! in my bower to dwell,
My mother sings, at the twilight's fall,
of the hills far more sweet than all ;
“Thy mother is gone from her cares to rest,
“ Is my mother gone from her home away ?
“Fair child ! thy brothers are wanderers now,