News & Features

2012: The Titanic Centenary

April 11, 2012

Category: Events (Pre - Aug 2013) |

15th April 2012:
The Titanic Centenary

The Convergence of the Twain 

(Lines on the loss of the ‘Titanic’)

 

Name

 

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 far 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                        April 1912.

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