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Graeve, Oscar (ed.) / Delineator
Vol. 119, No. 1 (July, 1931)

Bennett, Gertrude Ryder
Ballad of the Dutch mill,   p. [7] PDF (528.6 KB)

Page [7]

,i; I
THE miller rapped on the farmhouse door
In the light of the harvest moon:
"Wilhelmus, friend, there is work to do
Or the day will break too soon.
"Tomorrow the Hessians will bring me bags
Of grain at an early hour;
But I'll hang before my mill will grind
An ounce of Hessian flour."
At the edge of the pond on a willow bough
An owl peered through the night,
Disturbed by sounds from the water-mill,
And the glow of a lantern's light,
By figures who staggered beneath a weight
Out of the yawning door,
By the sound of a spade as it crunched the sand
In the silence of the shore.
In the morning the Hessian wagons came,
The captain drew his rein:
"In the name of the King," commanded he,
"Your mill will grind our grain."
20  - 1i
The lusty miller puffed his pipe,
The water-wheel was still.
"I cannot grind your grain."  He lounged
In the door of his idle mill.
The captain's face was pale with wrath.
"Then you shall die," he said.
The miller shrugged, "I cannot give
The Dutch or the Hessians bread-
"For I must have an enemy
Who hates me through to the bones.
Hessian or Dutch, does it matter much
When he stole my grinding-stones?"
All of that year the rockweed clung
To the wheel, and the door was barred.
The thieving mice grew sleek and bold
Though the winter was long and hard.
The miller rapped on the farmhouse door:
"Wilhelmus, the war is won!
Both Hessian and British troops are gone.
Today the mill will run!"
Rejoicing, the stones were carried back,
The heavy lock set free-
And the sound of the wheel as it ground the meal
Was the song of liberty.
IIlustrations by
De / in ea to r
J ulIy  193 31

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