The Convergence of the Twain

Thomas Hardy (1912)


 (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 fat 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.


home