Thursday, April 14, 2011


Today is the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic,

the ship that was said to be unsinkable, would sink into the minds of every human being who had any connection to someone on board, that God is the only being which is unsinkable and that His rock is firm apart from the sinking sand of this world. Below is a poem written by Doug Phillips for a men and boys meeting.



"The North Atlantic ice fields are perilous and rough,
And only should be tested by those of sterner stuff,
They're filled with fearful hazards for nautical machines,
Icebergs that look like mountains with jagged peaks and mean.

But on this eve in 1912 a monarch of the sea,
traversed her waves with brazen strides, amid a night of glee,
"Unsinkable" they called her, yes, unsinkable their claim,
But pride not strength would give that ship a destiny of fame.

Near half a hundred thousand tons, the largest ship at sea,
a mighty maiden of the waves, in length 883,
a monument to science? No a legacy of pride,
A testimonial to those who needlessly would die.


While children's heads lay nestled, warm and snug through midnight hours,
And husbands huddle next to wives asleep in loves sweet powers,
In upper decks men smoked and sang, and toasted with a drink,
Not knowing that the virgin ship would soon begin to sink.

First rang the bells then came the cries, at last the dreaded panic,
And now all knew t'would be the end of RMS Titanic.
But in that hour of foul despair and fear unmitigated,
A manly Christian cry to all was quickly circulated.

"Women and children first!" they cried,
"Women and children first!
To save your souls, you must give your lives,
Women and children first!"


Amidst the tumult and toils of lives then gripped with fear,
A holy calm prevailed on those whose hearts and minds were clear,
The cause was right, the mission pure, the path uncompromised;
The men must die that others live -- The men must give their lives.

No greater love hath any man than that he lay down life,
For family: for little ones, for dearest bride and wife.
What manly breast would shirk the call or fail with any breath,
To give his life for womankind, a sacrifice of death.

"Women and children first" the cry,
"Women and children first",
Some must live while others die;
"Women and children first."


As water surged upon the decks and chaos reigned supreme,
the band played on sweet hymns to God, which quieted the screams,
Some raised their hands, or cried aloud, while others genuflected,
In fleeting hopes that dreams and lives might still be resurrected.

Across the deck a thousand scenes of lives held in the balance
With prayers delivered unto God, in heavenly reliance.
As stokers, stewards, officers, and gentlemen en masse,
all lifted women into boats without regard to class.

Women and children first -- the law,
Women and children first.
The men would act. No fight. No flaw.
Women and children first.


One faithful father searched the deck to find his family,
and rushing forward caught a girl near tossed into the sea.
And though this little golden hair was to the man a stranger,
He strapped to her his own life vest to save the babe from danger,

At last he saw the face he loved and pulled her from the throng,
Along with tender tiny ones who thought him bold and strong,
A little boy, a little girl, the world he held so dear,
Were waiting ignorant that time would bring their darkest fear.

Women and children first -- Praise God!
Women and children first.
This principle we ever laud!
Women and children first.


Five minutes he had to say goodbye, five minutes then all was lost,
But giving his life for the woman he loved was hardly a weighty cost.
"To the boats! To the boats my darlings," said he,"To the boats!" and his words did race,
And lowering them into those cradles of life, he paused, just one more embrace.

And now he kissed those tender lips and now he squeezed the hands
and now he hugged and spoke the last, of love and wedding bands.
"Be brave my love. Be brave my son. Be brave my little dears,
God's ways are just, Christ rules above, and faith must hush our fears."

"Women and children first", said he
"Women and children first,
to be a man I must set you free.
Women and children first."

At last he said goodbye to eyes which longed for him and home,
at last he watched them pull away to safety through the foam.
In moments he would be submerged and 'neath the icy brine,
content to know his sacrifice had given them more time.

Just yards away a mother gazed, back at the sinking boat,
Her children bundled in her arms, warmed by their mother's coat.
A prayer of hope upon her lips a Bible in her hand,
A testament of love, of faith, and of her husbands stand.

"Women and children first," she wept,
"Women and children first,"
Stroking the curls of the infant she'd kept,
"Women and children first."

Into the liquid tomb he fell, moments from paradise;
With one last grasp he clawed the waves and caught his dear one's eyes.
His frozen face, his numbed hands, his body stiff and cold --
An ocean legacy of heroism told.

Down through the Depths Titanic sank, and into her watery grave,
Bound by such forces as God had decreed would render the hulk it's slave.
Downward she plunged through the darkness she plunged taking no inventory,
Of perishing hundreds who crowded her decks, bound for Hell or Glory.

For women and children first they died,
For women and children first.
They put their faith before their pride,
For women and children first.

Douglas W. Phillips
April 15, 1997
Titanic Men’s Memorial
Washington, D.C.


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