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The Miller of Dee

by Charles Mackay

There dwelt a miller, hale and bold,
Beside the river Dee;
He worked and sang from morn till night,
No lark more blithe than he;
And this the burden of his song
For ever used to be:
“I envy nobody, no, not I,
And nobody envies me.”

“Thou’rt wrong, my friend, said good King Hal—
“As wrong as wrong can be—
For could my heart be light as thine,
I’d gladly change with thee;
And tell me now, what makes thee sing,
With voice so loud and free,
While I am sad, though I’m the king,
Beside the river Dee.”

The miller smiled and doffed his cap:
“I earn my bread,” quoth he;
“I love my wife, I love my friend,
I love my children three;
I owe no penny I cannot pay;
I thank the river Dee,
That turns the mill that grinds the corn
That feeds my babes and me.”

“Good friend,” said Hal, and sighed the while,
“Farewell and happy be;
But say no more, if thou’dst be true,
That no one envies thee:
Thy mealy cap is worth my crown,
Thy mill, my kingdom’s fee;
Such men as thou are England’s boast,
O miller of the Dee!”

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