Thursday, 2 April 2020

Felicia Hemans – a poet I had never heard of




Despite the sound of her name, Felicia Hemans was an English poet.  Her most famous lines were 'The boy stood on the burning deck' and 'The stately home of England'.

She was born in Liverpool but later adopted Wales as her home country.

Hemans was a popular poet which makes it all the stranger that I would never have heard of her but for watching a History Channel programme about Cathedrals and she was mentioned in connection with St Asaph's Cathedral– the smallest cathedral in Britain.  She is not buried there but there is a window dedicated to her memory.

Here is part of a poem for you to get a flavour of her work:

Torches were blazing clear,
Hymns pealing deep and slow,
Where a king lay stately on his bier,
In the church of Fontevraud.
Banners of battle o’er him hung,
And warriors slept beneath,
And light, as Noon’s broad light, was flung
On the settled face of death.

1 comment:

  1. I got goosebumps reading that poem, thank you for telling me about this poet. I had not heard of her either. I am watching documentaries too, and find The Art Detectives fascinating. I have a bit of a crush on Bendor Grosvenor, one of the hosts.

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