Holmes, Oliver Wendell. "Old Ironsides".
Summary and Analysis
- a poem of response to a newspaper account of the proposed dismantling of the frigate Constitution, victor against the British in the War of 1812
- widely reprinted and credited with saving the ship
- despite the shortness of the poem, it resembles an elegy, it celebrates and at the same times mourns the ship
- the speaker recalls the glorious days of the ship: the people celebrating to see its flag, the battles on her board, the heroes' blood, and the vanquished foe
- never more will the ship experience all this, she will be a prey to the harpies
- the speaker pleads to offer the ship to the god of storms, to let her drift on the sea which should be her grave
AuthorHolmes, Oliver Wendell. (1809 - 1894).
Full Title"Old Ironsides".
Holmes, Oliver Wendell. "Old Ironsides". (1830). In: Masterpieces of American Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1891.