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                The Convergence of the Twain

                         (Lines on the loss of the 'Titanic')


              In a solitude of the sea
              Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.


              Steel chambers, late the pyres
              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 near
              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 mate
              For her -- so gaily great --
A Shape of Ice, for the time far and disassociate.


              And as the smart ship grew
              In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.


              Alien they seemed to be:
              No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history,


              Or sign that they were bent
              By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one august event,


              Till the Spinner of the Years
              Said 'Now!' And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

            Thomas Hardy