Richard Francis Burton

Here you will find the Poem On A Ferry Boat of poet Richard Francis Burton

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.