Collected Poems 1897 - 1907
There lay the narrowing channel, smooth and grim, A hundred deaths beneath it, and never a sign; There lay the enemy's ships, and sink or swim The flag was flying, and he was head of the line.
The fleet behind was jamming; the monitor hung Beating the stream; the roar for a moment hushed, Craven spoke to the pilot; slow she swung; Again he spoke, and right for the foe she rushed.
Into the narrowing channel, between the shore And the sunk torpedoes lying in treacherous rank; She turned but a yard too short; a muffled roar, A mountainous wave, and she rolled, righted, and sank.
Over the manhole, up in the iron-clad tower, Pilot and Captain met as they turned to fly: The hundredth part of a moment seemed an hour, For one could pass to be saved, and one must die.
They stood like men in a dream: Craven spoke, Spoke as he lived and fought, with