At the Mill

O Miller Knox, whom we knew well,
And the mill, and the floury floors,
And the corn, — and those two women,
And infants — yours!

The sun was shining when you rode
To market on that day:
The sun was set when home-along
You ambled in the gray,
And gathered what had taken place
While you were away.

O Miller Knox, 'twas grief to see
Your good wife hanging there
By her own rash and passionate hand,
In a throe of despair;

And those two children, one by her,
And one by the waiting-maid,
Borne the same hour, and you afar,
And she past aid.

And though sometimes you walk of nights,
Sleepless, to Yalbury Brow,
And glance the graveyard way, and grunt,
" 'Twas not much, anyhow:
She shouldn't ha' minded!" nought it helps
To say that now.

And the water dribbles down your wheel,
Your mead blooms green and gold,
And birds twit in your apple-boughs
Just as of old.
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