Thomas Hardy (1912)
(Lines on the loss of the "Titanic")
In a solitude of the
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
Steel chambers, late
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.
Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls -- grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.
Jewels in joy designed
To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.
Dim moon-eyed fishes
Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?". . .
Well: while was fashioning
This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything
Prepared a sinister
For her -- so gaily great --
A Shape of Ice, for the time fat and dissociate.
And as the smart ship
In stature, grace, and hue
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.
Alien they seemed to
No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history.
Or sign that they were
By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one August event,
Till the Spinner of
Said "Now!" And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.