The salvaged ship, arbiter of extremes,
Balances in its hold intransigence and endeavor;
Braced in the tapering camber of its beams,
The buoyant vault is holding a breath forever.
The same wrights who manned the naves
On land in belfries and cathedrals,
Wielded the rasp and adze in polyhedral
Citadels to dominate the waves.
Above the choir the wheel of the hoist
Has been marooned, abandoned in the spire;
Below the deck a slow continuing gyre
Chants in the silent catenary and the plangent joist.
Massive chains pose no threat to the converted
From lanterns hanging weightless in the wings;
The quivering keel — a pendulum inverted —
Offers stability while it still faintly swings.
Calculation and faith mitered in defiance
Of decay will never let the pendulum rest —
Scientia sine arte nihil est —
Nor leave Art derelict in the wake of Science.