87 years later, I stood exactly where the Ned Parfett, the Titanic paperboy stood the day after the sinking. Turns out he was killed in action on 29 October 1918 while serving with the British Army in France. He was 22 years old.
On the same trip to England, we also visited the platform at Waterloo Station in London from which the “Titanic Special” departed, taking passengers to Southampton.
‘The Convergence of the Twain’ (Lines on the loss of the “Titanic”)
by Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928)
I In a solitude of the sea Deep from human vanity, And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she. II Steel chambers, late the pyres Of her salamandrine fires, Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres. III Over the mirrors meant To glass the opulent The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent. IV Jewels in joy designed To ravish the sensuous mind Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind. V Dim moon-eyed fishes near Gaze at the gilded gear And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?" ... VI Well: while was fashioning This creature of cleaving wing, The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything VII Prepared a sinister mate For her — so gaily great — A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate. VIII And as the smart ship grew In stature, grace, and hue, In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too. IX Alien they seemed to be; No mortal eye could see The intimate welding of their later history, X Or sign that they were bent By paths coincident On being anon twin halves of one august event, XI Till the Spinner of the Years Said "Now!" And each one hears, And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.