The Unconquered Air, and Other Poems (1912)/The Band of the "Titanic"

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For other versions of this work, see The Band of the Titanic.

THE BAND OF THE "TITANIC"

"These are the immortal,—the fearless."—Upanishads.

Up, lads! they say we've struck a berg, though there 's no danger yet,—
Our noble liner was not built to wreck!—
But women may have felt a shock they 're needing to forget,
And when there 's trouble, men should be on deck.


Come!—now 's the time! They're wanting us to brighten them a bit;
Play up, my lads—as lively as you can!
Give them a merry English air! they want no counterfeit
Like that down-hearted tune you just began! . . .


I think the Captain's worried, lads: maybe the thing's gone wrong;
Well, we will show them all is right with us!
Of Drake and the Armadas now we'll play them such a song
Shall make them of the hero emulous.


When boats are being lowered, lads, your place and mine are here,—
O we were never needed more than now!
When others go, it is for us those left behind to cheer,
And I am glad, my lads, that we know how!


If it is Death that 's calling us, we 'll make a rave response;
Play up, play up!—ye may not play again;
The prize that Nelson won at last, the chance that comes but once,
Is ours, my lads!—the chance to die like men!