Granchester Mill House


The old mill-house square and tall upon the bridge
stares with shadowed face over the scene;
beneath the walls the dark bricked arch
glints with shards of falling river beyond
and through this mouth lily pads of foam
cruise out in gentle curves across the pond;
the mill-race runs unchecked its steely brew
through a dark and narrow arch slit in the wall
crossed iron bars stretched through to bind it strength
and bear the road and traffic passing through.
Defended by spiring nettle and spearing rose
the willows on their island stand askew.

On so fine a day, life seems only kind
soothes all discomfort from the mind,
yet as I pause upon this iron seat
the vagrant on the ground moans in his sleep.
He does not hear the birds, the waters rush,
does not feel the cloud-swept surge of breeze
but travels in the dreamscape of his mind.
What miseries he sees, what mischance
I cannot breach, the peace that cools my mind
spreads like the river through my veins.
I wonder at the calm upon his face
and if he dreams of a more splendid place.


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