The Convergence of the Twain

(Lines on the loss of the "Titanic")
2        Deep from human vanity,
3And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
II
4        Steel chambers, late the pyres
5        Of her salamandrine fires,
III
7        Over the mirrors meant
8        To glass the opulent
9The sea-worm crawls -- grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.
IV
10        Jewels in joy designed
11        To ravish the sensuous mind
12Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.
V
13        Dim moon-eyed fishes near
14        Gaze at the gilded gear
15And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?" ...
VI
16        Well: while was fashioning
17        This creature of cleaving wing,
18The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything
VII
19        Prepared a sinister mate
20        For her -- so gaily great --
21A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.
VIII
22        And as the smart ship grew
23        In stature, grace, and hue,
24In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.
IX
25        Alien they seemed to be;
26        No mortal eye could see
27The intimate welding of their later history,
X
28        Or sign that they were bent
29        By paths coincident
30On being anon twin halves of one august event,
XI
31        Till the Spinner of the Years
32        Said "Now!" And each one hears,
33And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

Notes

1] The Titanic luxury sea-liner sank after colliding with an iceberg on April 15, 1912, during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, with a loss of 1500 of some 2200 on board. Back to Line
6] thrid: thread. Back to Line
Original Text: 
Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1932): 288-89. PR 4741 F32 Robarts Library.
Publication Start Year: 
1915
Publication Notes: 
Satires of Circumstance, Lyrics and Reveries with Miscellaneous Pieces (London: Macmillan, 1915): 9-11. PR 4750 S3 1914 Robarts Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: