Verse > Edwin A. Robinson > Collected Poems > VII. The Three Taverns > 4. The Mill
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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935).  Collected Poems. 1921.
  
VII. The Three Taverns
4. The Mill
  
THE MILLER’S wife had waited long,
  The tea was cold, the fire was dead;
And there might yet be nothing wrong
  In how he went and what he said:
“There are no millers any more,”        5
  Was all that she heard him say;
And he had lingered at the door
  So long that it seemed yesterday.
 
Sick with a fear that had no form
  She knew that she was there at last;       10
And in the mill there was a warm
  And mealy fragrance of the past.
What else there was would only seem
  To say again what he had meant;
And what was hanging from a beam       15
  Would not have heeded where she went.
 
And if she thought it followed her,
  She may have reasoned in the dark
That one way of the few there were
  Would hide her and would leave no mark:       20
Black water, smooth above the weir
  Like starry velvet in the night,
Though ruffled once, would soon appear
  The same as ever to the sight.

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