Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

The Titanic - Poem by Katharine Lee Bates

As she sped from dawn to gloaming, a palace upon the sea,
Did the waves from her proud bows foaming whisper what port should be?
That her maiden voyage was tending to a haven hushed and deep,
Where after the shock and the rending she should moor at the wharf of sleep?
Oh, her name shall be tale and token to all the ships that sail,
How her mighty heart was broken by blow of a crystal flail,
How in majesty still peerless her helpless head she bowed
And in light and music, fearless, plunged to her purple shroud.
Did gleams and dreams half-heeded, while the days so lightly ran,
Awaken the glory seeded from God in the soul of man?
For touched with a shining chrism, with love's fine grace imbued,
Men turned them to heroisim as it were but habitude.
O midnight strange and solemn, when the icebergs stood at gaze,
Death on one pallid column, to watch our human ways,
And saw throned Death defeated by a greater lord than he,
Immortal Life who greeted home-comers from the sea.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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