Lines written after the Tynewydd innundation

Ten days, far down, these five drew painful breath,

And heard, at last, the strokes that hewed a way

Through the black wall; a race 'twixt strength and death,

Hunger and water waiting for their prey.

Ten days, above, the valley poured it's life,

Men, women and children, round the sodden grave,

To watch, with heart-sick hope, the stubborn strife

Betwixt men's power to bear, men's power to save.

Ten days, wide England through, the nation's heart

Hung on the struggle with one pulse, one breath,

Answering the wires, which told the yards that part

The savers from the sufferers - life from death.

Great strife in little space was theirs to wage;

That black wall their last foe; with poisonous flame,

Pent air let loose, and prisoned water's rage,

Still rising as salvation nearer came.

One side that wall, the life that ebbed away,

As inch by inch the cruel waters crept;

The other side, strong arms the pick that sway

In face of many deaths - till forth there leapt

The shout of victory, for life and strength

Had been too much for death; the five were won

From famine, water, fire, and clasped at length

Their savers' helping hands - the fight was done!

And England's heart, in common sympathy,

Uttered itself in burst of thankful prayer:

From throne and cottage rose one happy cry,

"WELL DONE!" as if all England gathered there.