The Convergence of the Twain

By Thomas Hardy 1840–1928 Thomas Hardy

(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 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.

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Poet Thomas Hardy 1840–1928

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Nature, Living, Death, Social Commentaries, Class, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Thomas  Hardy

Biography

One of the most renowned poets and novelists in English literary history, Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in the English village of Higher Bockhampton in the county of Dorset. He died in 1928 at Max Gate, a house he built for himself and his first wife, Emma Lavinia Gifford, in Dorchester, a few miles from his birthplace. Hardy’s youth was influenced by the musicality of his father, a stonemason and fiddler, and his mother, Jemima . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Nature, Living, Death, Social Commentaries, Class, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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