Eaton’s Popular Poems. No. 57. The Loss of the Titanic, Sunday Night, April 14th, 1912. W. A. Eaton.
Eaton’s Popular Poems. No. 57. The Loss of the Titanic, Sunday Night, April 14th, 1912.

Eaton’s Popular Poems. No. 57. The Loss of the Titanic, Sunday Night, April 14th, 1912.

London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd., [1912]. 8vo, self wrappers. 4 pp.

A rare verse account of the sinking of the Titanic, evidently published shortly afterwards.

The poem begins, appropriately enough, by evoking the sense of invulnerability that attended the great passenger ship on her maiden voyage: “The Largest Liner ever built, / Steamed onward, in its pride; / What we had thought great ships before, / Looked pigmies by its side.” But soon “A floating iceberg crossed the tide, / Too late to turn away, / The vessel struck, and splintered ice / Upon the top-deck lay.”

The second half of the poem conjures the terrifying scene of the Titanic’s sinking and honors the souls who bravely went down with the vessel. Perhaps most stirring is the treatment of the ship’s band playing in the face of imminent death: “The women in the boats looked back, / Some called, or waved a hand, / When, suddenly towards them came / The music of the band. / They caught the tune of ‘Autumn,’ then / Floating across the sea; / Then as the ship sank lower down, ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee!’” The poem concludes by foretelling the lasting grip on the imagination of what has proven the most memorable shipwreck of all time: “Oft will our children’s children tell / That awful tale with pride; / How men and women, young and old, / On the great Titanic died.”

The back cover advertises two other popular poems by Eaton (one entitled The Fireman’s Wedding—“200,000 copies sold”) as well as his “popular dialogues.”

WorldCat records just one copy.

CONDITION: Good, cover pages rubbed and lightly soiled, old folds, a few tiny punctures at margins and along folds, a 2 cm separation along middle fold, but no loss to the text.

Item #5092

Price: $550.00

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