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The Mill Stream

by Susan Francis Preston Clapp

The mill stream flows o'er common ground,
Yet wandering there, I stand spell-bound;
And dreamy thoughts will o'er me steal
While listening to the water-wheel.

As round it rolls, I hear a chant
Whose music grows significant,
Till my whole being is possessed
With something of the wheel's unrest.

Mine ear hath caught an undertone
To which my soul makes answering moan;
Two plaintive voices seem to meet,
In murmuring eddies, at my feet.

Vague longings, when answered here,
Foreshadowings of another sphere,
Now join the water's plaintive flow,
As onward, onward still they go.

Forever striving to be free,
My soul is in strange sympathy
With the waters basely bound
To turn the mill-wheel round and round.

Within man's limitation set,
The troubled waters foam and fret,
But left unfettered in their course,
Glide on serenely to their source.

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