Widely considered to be one of America's best and most influential poets.. American poet essayist journalist and humanist
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
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,
moment that draws so close—O the moment!
A huge sob—A few bubbles—the white foam spirting up—And then the women
Sinking there, while the passionless wet flows on—And I now pondering, Are those
Are Souls drown’d and destroy’d so?
Is only matter triumphant?