William Henry Lyons

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Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member

Ronnie Herlihy

There is an inscription on the Lyons family grave at St Joseph's Cemetery, Ballyphehane, Cork, Rep. of Ireland, remembering the death of William H. Lyons on the Titanic.


Daniel Corkery wrote a poem in his memory:IN MEMORIAMTo my friend, John F. Lyons, on the loss of his brother, William H. Lyons, of tke crew of the TitanicDANIEL CORKERYThe vision of man's triumph on the sea- O shoal of immemorial wreckages!- Laid waste, the swift and sullen victory Of matter in its deadest, clumsiest phase Stun and bewilder me, I scarce can feel or see; Shades, as of night, prevail against my powers, And icy cold benumbs; my spirit cowers And shrinks as if to breathe were life enough; Yet would I break this dulling lethargy, And tune my thoughts; for song, however rough, Most fitting bears the burden of deep sympathy.Because of one whose voice I never heard, Whose fact, whose eyes to me were never known, My heart, despite the clodding years, is stirred And stabbed by every ruthless rumour blown Across the breadths of sea; (Blown reckless, callously, Since stricken hearts are prodigal of gold) Until, my soul a-swoon, my wild eyes hold Revel with wreckage made beneath the stars, My ears grow ravenous to catch the cry Of Death; for every sense hath snapped the bars Of Will, and is abroad in its own empery.I pity you, his brother; his clear eyes You see; and each remembered wilfulness That made for love, laughs in the fantasies That rise as foam above your deep distress. From vision so intense, For mine 'tis insolence To beg a corner in your room of grief; My poet-gift I'll not advance as brief Of brotherhood, nor yet the name of man; But this-: Oh never sailed into my skies Or boy or youth built on the daring plan Of him we mourn but love flashed signals from my Ayes.Aye, though I knew him not I seem to see Him in the guise of many a boy I loved; They went from ship to ship, from quay to quay, And could not tell how deeply they were moved. Souls blest with strength of wing,Or curst, the sea's wide ring Allured, and all half-peopled distances; How could they keep the livelong, homeland ways When winds were up? . . . My spirit, ill at ease The while my feet tread out each dreary day, Oft wings to them o'er sunset, moonlit seas And they return . . and I return . . richer than they,Not all return! Oh, friend, I crave a place Within your room of grief: my song is done; And whilst I tuned it many a boyish face Rose softly from the past, a withered sun! As softly went away! Yet was there time to pray The Benedictions of the Living God For them and all such eagle souls as trod These jetty-sides, and now beneath the sea Adventure not at all; but take their rest, Waiting the trumpet of Eternity, And God, in all, to all, as Love be manifest.