The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy

 

(Lines on the loss of the “Titanic”)

I
            In a solitude of the sea
            Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
II
            Steel chambers, late the pyres
            Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.
III
            Over the mirrors meant
            To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.
IV
            Jewels in joy designed
            To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.
V
            Dim moon-eyed fishes near
            Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: “What does this vaingloriousness down here?” …
VI
            Well: while was fashioning
            This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything
VII
            Prepared a sinister mate
            For her — so gaily great —
A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.
VIII
            And as the smart ship grew
            In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.
IX
            Alien they seemed to be;
            No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history,
X
            Or sign that they were bent
            By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one august event,
XI
            Till the Spinner of the Years
            Said “Now!” And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.
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