The Convergence of the Twain

The Convergence of the Twain

Thomas Hardy (1912)


(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, 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 fat 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.

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