Titanic

Original Text: 
The Collected Poems of T. W. H. Crosland (London: Martin Secker, 1917): 37. PR 4518 C686A17
2Which swing and tumble south in ghostly white
4Behemoth whom we have praised on instruments
5Dulcet and shrill and impudent with vents:
6Behemoth whose huge body was our delight
7And miracle, wallows where there is no light,
8Shattered and crumpled and torn with pitiful rents.
9O towers of steel and masts that gored the moon,
11And we have died like excellent proud kings
12Who take death nobly if it come late or soon:
13For our high souls are mirrors of Himself,
14Though our great wonders are His littlest things.

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. Cf. Thomas Hardy's poem on the sinking, "The Convergence of the Twain." Back to Line
3] Behemoth, the great sea-beast that God described to Job (Job 40:15-24):
Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox.
Behold, his strength is in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly.
He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron.
He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!
For the mountains yield food for him where all the wild beasts play.
Under the lotus plants he lies, in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
For his shade the lotus trees cover him; the willows of the brook surround him.
Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
Can one take him with hooks, or pierce his nose with a snare?
Back to Line
10] pelf: money. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1912
Publication Notes: 
Sonnets (London: John Richmond, 1912).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
Rhyme: 
Form: