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This poem is taken from PN Review 34, Volume 10 Number 2, November - December 1983.

Flood at Brandy Bottle Incline Philip Holmes
 
from The Swaledale Lead Mines'

At the Old Gang Mines in 1852
after such a storm, the shift
from number two was caught
half way to the main drift
and swept into a blind gallery.

Suppose then that the flood eased,leaving
a few hours of air cooped over them.
Four men. They knew just where they were,
knew the workings like the palms of their hands.
They would picture the flood backed up
at the clogged sump, and maybe help-
men starting along the level far above,
but they could not hear it, nor the thump
and whistle of the hydraulic engine
in Sir Francis, pumping for their lives;
...


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