In Time of Drought [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 1890]

[Editor: A poem by Mary Hannay Foott.]

In Time of Drought.

The river of God is full of water.” — Psalm.

The rushes are black by the river bed,
And the sheep and the cattle stand,
Wistful-eyed, where the waters were,
In a waste of gravel and sand ;
Or pass o’er their dying and dead to slake
Their thirst at the slimy pool.
Shall they pine and perish in pangs of drought
While Thy river, O God, is full ?

The fields are furrowed, the seed is sown,
But no dews from the heavens are shed ;
And where shall the grain for the harvest be ?
And how shall the poor be fed ?
In waterless gullies they winnow the earth,
New-turned by the miner’s tool ;
And the wayfarer faints ’neath his lightened load* —
Yet the river of God is full.

For us, O Father, from tropic seas,
Let the clouds be filled that shed
Rough rains upon Andes’ eastward slope,
Soft snows on Himàleh’s head.
Freight for us as for others thy dark-winged fleet,
That soon by the waters cool,
We may say with gladness, “Our need was great,
But the river of God was full !”

* During a drought travellers sometimes have to throw away even their blankets and any superfluous clothing.

Mary Hannay Foott. Morna Lee and Other Poems, Gordon & Gotch, Brisbane, 1890, pages 12-13

Previously published in:
Mary Hannay Foott. Where the Pelican Builds and Other Poems, Gordon & Gotch, Brisbane, 1885

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