As I sit with others at a great feast, suddenly while the music is playing,
To my mind, (whence it comes I know not,) spectral in mist of a wreck at sea,
Of certain ships, how they sail from port with flying streamers and wafted kisses, and that
is the last of them,
Of the solemn and murky mystery about the fate of the President,
Of the flower of the marine science of fifty generations founder’d off the Northeast coast
and going down — of the steamship Arctic going down,
Of the veil’d tableau-women gather’d together on deck, pale, heroic, waiting the moment that
draws so close — O the moment!
A huge sob — a few bubbles — the white foam spirting up — and then the women gone,
Sinking there while the passionless wet flows on — and I now pondering, Are those women
Are souls drown’d and destroy’d so?
Is only matter triumphant?