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“As the ship sank we could hear the band playing â€˜Nearer, My Got [sic], To Thee’. We looked back and
could see the men standing on deck absolutely quiet and waiting for the end.”
-- Titanic survivor Vera D
Upon the deck we gaily played whilst trusting Valiant Queen
To hold us sure till glorious sights of Lady Liberty.
Come storm and gale she’d stay alive with loveliness supreme.
For come what may, no beast could jar this lady of the sea.
Alas, one day The Beast did comeâ€” a greedy thing was he.
He scraped against our Splendor so that he alone could be.
The children screamed and mothers criedâ€”I witnessed many pleas.
Men closed their eyes and prayed and waited for eternity.
Then, slowly, oh so slowly did I raise my bow and strings.
Nodded to my men and whispered, “one-a-two-and-three…”
With trembling hand and honest face and firm camaraderie,
Now played we once again, to set the others’ minds at ease.
The battle fought, the damage done, the victor all too clear.
A terror-breeding nightmare that refused to disappear.
“Here, ma’am and child! Please climb aboard! But sir, you stand aside!”
I knew I had but moments to perform a final time.
A funeral dirge for friend and foeâ€” a dying elegy.
And as I played, I sang along, “Nearer, My God, to Thee!”
…Nearer, My God, to Thee.