Punch,  37 (1859), 143.






Exploration, Heroism

    Written following the discovery, by Francis L McClintock and his co-explorers, of the materials documenting John Franklin's successful but fatal attempt to discover a north-west passage, this poem describes the heroic but harrowing last stages of the expedition. Notes how 'A band of gallant hearts [...] Braced for their closing parts— / Their long march to the grave', and that the path of the journey was 'dotted' with the bodies of the 'weaker', although still being trodden by the remainder who reel 'like drunkards'. Stresses, however, that although the survivors reached the banks of 'The river of their hope', Franklin did not die in the 'cutting frost-wind' but in the warmth of his ship 'With comfort at his side, / And hope upon his lip', and thus away from the sailors who were spared 'their loved captain's pain'. Concludes by observing that while death separated Franklin and his crew, 'They are together now'.

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