Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Casabianca, by Felicia Hemans and Searching for the Perfect Hat in Scotland

“The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead.” -Casabianca, by Felicia Hemans

Today I went looking for the perfect hat.
“Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though child-like form.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

There are hats all around us.  This old lady is wearing the fluffy hood.
“The flames rolled on–he would not go
Without his Father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

This Hobo's wearing the Stinky Stocking Cap.
“He called aloud–'say, Father, say
If yet my task is done?'
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

This shepherd is wearing a crushed bowler with a feather.  (Lost your flock, eh?)
“'Speak, father!' once again he cried,
'If I may yet be gone!'
And but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames rolled on.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

The man on the bike is wearing the English Driver's Cap also known as a Windsor.  His hairless friend is opting out of head gear.
“Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death
In still yet brave despair.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

These young lads are wearing Balmorals, the traditional Scottish cap for boys.
“And shouted but once more aloud,
'My father! must I stay?'
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
The wreathing fires made way.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

As for this piper next to Edinburgh Castle's One O'clock Gun, nobody was asking about his hat, they all wanted to know what was under his kilt.
“They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

This tour guide looking quite dapper was holding a Tam O' Shanter... which is a traditional Scottish cap... but where did it go?
“There came a burst of thunder sound–
The boy–oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea!” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

Oh ho!  Now this Lady in Waiting has donned what is known as a "Boss" which is a decorative caul of netting and linen covering the thick coils of plaited hair.  Medieval women thought bosses all the rage.  Chaucer even mentions them in his Legend of a Good Woman:  "A frette of goold sche hadde next hyre her." (Yeah... Total Chaucer Reference!!)
“With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part–
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.” -Casabiance, by Felicia Hemans

Yeah... I paid 2 Euros for this picture thinking this spinster was weaving, like her sign said, to teach poor children.  Later I found her passed out drunk in the park.
Casabianca was a thirteen year old son of the Admiral of the Orient, who remained at his post in the Battle of the Nile after the ship had taken fire and all the guns abandoned.

This lovely fellow had donned a Cricket's Cap, quite popular in this neck of the woods.
I love these old poems about brave boys, but really, it’s knowing the beauty of people all around us. I was thinking of this poem today as I walked up and down Princess Street in Edinburgh looking for the perfect hat and noticing all the brave and funny faces instead. Of course, I didn’t find it. I figure the perfect hat will just have to come to me.

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