Richard Francis Burton
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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Richard Francis Burton Poems
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.
Love Is Strong
A VIEWLESS thing is the wind, But its strength is mightier far Than a phalanxed host in battle line, Than the limbs of a Samson are.
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
THE CROCUSES in the Square Lend a winsome touch to the May; The clouds are vanished away, The weather is bland and fair;
An Unpraised Picture
I SAW a picture once by Angelo. “Unfinished,” said the critic; “done in youth;” And that was all, no thought of praise, forsooth! He was informed, and doubtless it was so.
HERE at the country inn, I lie in my quiet bed, And the ardent onrush of armies Throbs and throbs in my head.
The First Song
A POET writ a song of May That checked his breath awhile; He kept it for a summer day, Then spake with half a smile:
NOT drowsihood and dreams and mere idless, Nor yet the blessedness of strength regained, Alone are in what men call sleep. The past, My unsuspected soul, my parents’ voice,
The Polar Quest
UNCONQUERABLY, men venture on the quest And seek an ocean amplitude unsailed, Cold, virgin, awful. Scorning ease and rest, And heedless of the heroes who have failed,
Comments about Richard Francis Burton
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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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 ...