Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
From “The Earthly Paradise.” IV. The King’s Visit
William Morris (1834–96)
  So long he rode he drew anigh
A mill upon the river’s brim,
That seem’d a goodly place to him,
For o’er the oily smooth millhead
There hung the apples growing red,        5
And many an ancient apple-tree
Within the orchard could he see,
While the smooth millwalls white and black
Shook to the great wheel’s measur’d clack,
And grumble of the gear within;        10
While o’er the roof that dull’d that din
The doves sat crooning half the day,
And round the half-cut stack of hay
The sparrows flutter’d twittering.
  There smiling stay’d the joyous king,        15
And since the autumn noon was hot
Thought good anigh that pleasant spot
To dine that day, and therewith sent
To tell the miller his intent:
Who held the stirrup of the king,        20
Bareheaded, joyful at the thing,
While from his horse he lit adown,
Then led him o’er an elm-beam brown,
New cut in February tide,
That cross’d the stream from side to side;        25
So underneath the apple trees
The king sat careless, well at ease,
And ate and drank right merrily.
  To whom the miller drew anigh
Among the courtiers, bringing there        30
Such as he could of country fare,
Green yellowing plums from off his wall,
Wasp-bitten pears, the first to fall
From off the wavering spire-like tree,
Junkets, and cream and fresh honey.        35


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