The Holmfirth Flood (1910) - Lines on the Great Flood at Holmfirth

This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project and its content is believed to be in the Public Domain.
The following is a transcription of a historic book and may contain occasional small errors.

The Holmfirth Flood (1910)

Lines on the Great Flood at Holmfirth

The cheek is blanched, the heart depressed with gloom,
And frantic horror hovers o’er this vale ;
Stern desolation marks our fearful doom,
And blends its darkness with the voice of wail.
The stately factory and the hoary tree,
Which, like our hills, the storms of heaven could brave ;
The cot, the mansion, in this surging sea
Are lost beyond the power of man to save.
Our gathered wealth, the fruit of toil and care,
Which long had strewn its blessings on our path ;
All which the high or low deem great or fair,
Are turned to ashes by this monster’s wrath.
It’s onward sweep spared not the coffined dead,
These scattered tombs bear witness of its power ;
While chapless skulls, torn from their silent bed,
Darkened the gloom of that appalling hour.
The aged, young, rich, poor, securely slept,
Nor heard the deep howl of the frightful flood,
Till like a demon o’er their homes it swept,
And left but ruin where in peace they stood.
These lovely babes that smiling sought repose,
And nestled fondly on their mother’s breast,
In that safe haven felt secure from foes,
Nor dreamed of aught which might disturb their rest.
This rosy boy, his father’s boast and pride,
Laughed, talked, or sang himself to sleep that night ;
His little playthings safely laid aside,
He thought, with glee, to greet the morning light.
Oh! fearful morn! the father, mother, child,
Start from their slumbers in a yawning grave ;
The midnight hears their shrieks, which, loud and wild,
Rise o’er the blast — but none are there to save.
Oh! ye benevolent! ye whose hearts bled
To see and hear this scene and tale of woe,
Look to the wants of those who pine for bread,
And God will bless the pittance you bestow.
February, 1852.

Notes and References

  1. Benjamin Stanley (1814-1864?) was a hand loom weaver residing at Cinder Hills, Wooldale. He was born 17 September 1814, the son of clothier Joseph Stanley and his wife Betty. He married Sarah Ann Lockwood on 13 October 1844 and they had six known children. He is believed to have died in 1864.