The storm that drenched the Yorkshire hills in rain,
That lashed at Gordale Scar and Malham tarn
And sent its drops to congregate and merge,
And travel where the rivulets converge,
Becomes a gushing, noisy, stony stream
That rushes underground. And in my dream
I sense approaching flood. Through market towns
And drab industrial scenes, through old nightgowns,
Through valley bottoms, all along the bed,
And clean white sheets. And quilts will not be spared.
The liquid flows unstoppable. I dread
To move but sensing torrent, lie impaired.
I'm forty six and still I'm not prepared.
Through Keighley, Leeds and Bradford it has flowed
Sloughed off such rubbish all along its way
And clots of flotsam gifts are now bestowed,
And still it charges on across the plain,
In desperation till it meets the tide.
And rises o'er the banks at break of day.