[Sinking of RMS Titanic, April 1912.] Long unpublished contemporary manuscript poem, signed by 'William Hall', titled 'Titanic', written within weeks of the sinking.

RMS Titanic sinking, April 1912 [William Hall]
Publication details: 
No place [English]. Dated at end 'May 1912'.
SKU: 20854

4pp., 4to. On three leaves. In fair condition, aged and creased. The poem, headed 'Titanic', is 64 lines long, divided into 15 stanzas (the first ten numbered), and is signed and dated at the end, following 'R.I.P.', 'William Hall | May 1912'. The verse is heartfelt and devout, in style something of a cross between Walt Whitman and William McGonagall. Apparently unpublished. The author is unknown, but the poem reflects the popular response to the celebrated maritime disaster. The four stanzas on the first page read: 'T'was [sic] the eve of the Day of Rest | That the mighty Leviathan | Plowed her way through the Ocean's | Sleeping breast. || Lis't [sic] to the throb of her stately tread | Mark her proportions | From anchor to lofty head | Its harmony sublime || True to her name Titanic, = the vast | Immensity with triumphant symmetry bold | Tis like the pondrous Greeks sculptured cast | This though is silent, this energy untold. || Her maiden voyage! | See how she sweeps along | Joyful and free but alas alas, | The retreating waves echo | Alpha and Omega = | The first and the last.' The poem continues through the remaining eleven stanzas, with references to 'Gloomy forebodings' and 'silent heroism'. The Titanic's captain is envisioned as a 'noble figure on yonder sloping bridge', 'As the hymn "Nearer my God to thee" | Wafts its kindly benediction from below.' Final stanza: 'So do not mourn nor fret their loss, | They are in His Presence & tender care | Rather learn from the Vast never mind what it costs | That in our life the Eternal God must have a share'.