And rearing Lindis backward pressed,
Shook all her trembling bankes amaine;
Then madly at the eygre’s breast
Flung uppe her weltering walls again.
Then bankes came downe with ruin and rout—
Then beaten foam flew round about—
Then all the mighty floods were out.
So farre, so fast the eygre drave,
The heart had hardly time to beat,
Before a shallow seething wave
Sobbed in the grasses at oure feet:
The feet had hardly time to flee
Before it brake against the knee,
And all the world was in the sea.
Upon the roofe we sate that night,
The noise of bells went sweeping by;
I marked the lofty beacon light
Stream from the church tower, red and high—
A lurid mark and dread to see;
And awsome bells they were to mee,
That in the dark rang “Enderby.”
They rang the sailor lads to guide
From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed;
And I—my sonne was at my side,
And yet the ruddy beacon glowed;
And yet he moaned beneath his breath,
“O come in life, or come in death!
O lost! my love, Elizabeth.”
And didst thou visit him no more?
Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter deare;
The waters laid thee at his doore,
Ere yet the early dawn was clear.
Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace,
The lifted sun shone on thy face,
Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place.
That flow strewed wrecks about the grass,
That ebbe swept out the flocks to sea;
A fatal ebbe and flow, alas!
To manye more than myne and me:
But each will mourn his own (she saith).
And sweeter woman ne’er drew breath
Than my sonne’s wife, Elizabeth.
I shall never hear her more
By the reedy Lindis shore,
“Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!” calling,
Ere the early dews be falling;
I shall never hear her song,
“Cusha! Cusha!” all along
Where the sunny Lindis floweth,
From the meads where melick groweth,
When the water winding down,
Onward floweth to the town.
I shall never see her more
Where the reeds and rushes quiver,
Stand beside the sobbing river,
Sobbing, throbbing, in its falling
To the sandy lonesome shore;
I shall never hear her calling,
“Leave your meadow grasses mellow.
Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot;
Quit your pipes of parsley hollow,
Come uppe Lightfoot, rise and follow;
From your clovers lift the head;
Come uppe Jetty, follow, follow,
Jetty, to the milking shed.”
(THE PARSON’S BROTHER, SISTER, AND TWO CHILDREN)
What wonder man should fail to stay
A nursling wafted from above,
The growth celestial come astray,
That tender growth whose name is Love!