Learn More

Richard Francis Burton

(1821 - 1890 / England)

On A Ferry Boat


THE RIVER widens to a pathless sea
Beneath the rain and mist and sullen skies.
Look out the window; ’t is a gray emprise,
This piloting of massed humanity
On such a day, from shore to busy shore,
And breeds the thought that beauty is no more.

But see yon woman in the cabin seat,
The Southland in her face and foreign dress;
She bends above a babe, with tenderness
That mothers use; her mouth grows soft and sweet.
Then, lifting eyes, ye saints in heaven, what pain
In that strange look of hers into the rain!

There lies a vivid band of scarlet red
With careless grace across her raven hair;
Her cheek burns brown; and ’t is her way to wear
A gown where colors stand in satin’s stead.
Her eye gleams dark as any you may see
Along the winding roads of Italy.

What dreamings must be hers of sunny climes,
This beggar woman midst the draggled throng!
How must she pine for solaces of song,
For warmth and love to furnish laughing-times!
Her every glance upon the waters gray
Is piteous with some lost yesterday.

I ’ve seen a dove, storm-beaten, far at sea;
And once a flower growing stark alone
From out a rock; I ’ve heard a hound make moan,
Left masterless: but never came to me
Ere this such sense of creatures torn apart
From all that fondles life and feeds the heart.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: raven, woman, rain, sea, flower, river, hair, song, red, beauty, heaven, lost, pain, alone, dark, women, water, wind, sky

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (On A Ferry Boat by Richard Francis Burton )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 261 Points Stephen W (12/30/2013 8:41:00 PM)

    Dunno why people give top poets such low scores.5.9! Surely you jest. He's pretty good. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Bleeding, May Swenson
  6. Men, Maya Angelou
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. I Am the Only Being Whose Doom, Emily Jane Brontë
  9. The Bells, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Warning, Jenny Joseph

Poem of the Day

poet Emily Jane Brontë

I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born

In secret pleasure - secret tears
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Meditation, Aftab Alam
  2. Not an infant any more, Soumita Sarkar Ray
  3. The UKIP-topian, sociopathic delusions o.., Stanley Collymore
  4. Turning points., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  5. Hold, Nur Danial
  6. Adil Jussawalla The Man & The Poet, Bijay Kant Dubey
  7. I love and love and love you, my dear, gajanan mishra
  8. Swept The Sound in The Night, Mapung Madura
  9. Haiku 'leaves ', miken newman
  10. Much more powerful, gajanan mishra
[Hata Bildir]