Surviving the Titanic

Our men knew nothing
about the position of the stars, hardly
how to pull together.

Two oars were soon overboard,
the men’s hands were too cold
to hold on.

Then across the water
swept that awful wail, the cry
of those drowning people.

In my ears I heard:
She’s gone lads; row like hell
or we’ll get the devil of a swell.

Oh at daybreak,
when we saw the lights of that ship,
about 4 miles away, we rowed like mad

and passed icebergs like mountains.
At last about 6.30 the dear Carpathia
picked us up,

our little boat was like a speck
against that giant.
Then came my weakest moment,

they lowered a rope swing,
which was awkward to sit on
with my life preserver round me.

Then they hauled me up,
by the side of the boat. Can you imagine,
swinging in the air above the sea?

I just shut my eyes and clung tight,
saying am I safe? At last I felt a strong arm
pulling me onto the boat.

Only a week ago today,
I watched that magnificent vessel sail away.
I never dreamt of danger.

Source: accounts of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, as printed by biography.com, 12th April 2012, article edited by Kim Gilmore. for the 100th anniversary.

  


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