Image by: Sondra Kicklighter
The Old Mill.
Don’t you remember, Lily dear,
The mill by the old hill side,
Where we used to go in the summer time
And watch the foamy tide;
And toss the leaves of the fragrant beech,
On its breast so smooth and bright,
Where they floated away like emeralds,
In a flood of golden light?
And the miller, love, with his slouchy cap,
And eyes of the mildest gray,
Plodding about his dusty work,
Singing the live-long day?
And the coat that hung on the rusty nail,
With many a motley patch,
And the rude old door, with its broken sill,
And the string, and the wooden latch?
And the water-wheel, with its giant arms,
Dashing the beaded spray,
And the weeds it pulled from the sand below,
And tossed in scorn away;
And the sleepers, Lily, with moss -‘ergrown,
Like sentinels stood in pride,
Breasting the waves, where the chinks of time
Were made in the old mill’s side.
Lily, the mill is torn away,
And a factory, dark and high,
Looms like a tower, and puffs its smoke
Over the clear blue sky,
And the stream is turned away from above,
And the bed of the river bare,
And the beech is withered, bough and trunk,
And stands like a spectre there —
And the miller, Lily, is dead and gone,
He sleeps in the vale below;
I saw his stone in the winter time,
Under a drift of snow;
But now the willow is green again,
And the wind is soft and still.
I send you a sprig, to remind you, love,
Of him and the dear old mill,
Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jul 10, 1850