(Henry Kendall)






Early Poems (1859-70). Lost in the Flood


When God drave the ruthless waters
 From our cornfields to the sea,
Came she where our wives and daughters
 Sobbed their thanks on bended knee.
Hidden faces! there ye found her
 Mute as death, and staring wild
At the shadow waxing round her
 Like the presence of her child
Of her drenched and drowning child!

Dark thoughts live when tears won't gather;
 Who can tell us what she felt?
It was human, O my Father,
 If she blamed Thee while she knelt!
Ever, as a benediction
 Fell like balm on all and each,
Rose a young face whose affliction
 Choked and stayed the founts of speech
  Stayed and shut the founts of speech!

Often doth she sit and ponder
 Over gleams of happy hair!
How her white hands used to wander,
 Like a flood of moonlight there!
Lordour Lord! Thou know'st her weakness:
 Give her faith that she may pray;
And the subtle strength of meekness,
 Lest she falter by the way
  Falter, fainting, by the way!

"Darling!" saith she, wildly moaning
 Where the grass-grown silence lies,
"Is there rest from sobs and groaning
 Rest with you beyond the skies?
Child of mine, so far above me!
 Late it waxethdark and late;
Will the love with which I love thee,
 Lift me where you sit and wait
  Darling! where you sit and wait?"






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