The Poems of Henry Kendall

Lost in the Flood

Henry Kendall

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!
Lord—our 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 waxeth—dark 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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