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Thomas Hardy : The Convergence of the Twain

(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, later the pyres
			Of her salamandrine1 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 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.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)	1912

 
FOOTNOTES
1 in myth, the salamander was a lizard-like creature who could inhabit fire; 2 thread
 

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