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Windmill Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Windmill by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. The Old Windmill Clarence Albert Murch
  3. The Old Windmill Clarence Albert Murch

  1. The Windmill

    O beautiful, awful summer day,
    What hast thou given, what taken away?

    – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    The Windmill
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The famous "Fireside Poet" Longfellow writes a moderately long country poem about a picturesque windmill.

    The summer sun is sinking low;
    Only the tree-tops redden and glow:
    Only the weathercock on the spire
    Of the neighboring church is a flame of fire;
    All is in shadow below.

    O beautiful, awful summer day,
    What hast thou given, what taken away?
    Life and death, and love and hate,
    Homes made happy or desolate,
    Hearts made sad or gay!

    On the road of life one mile-stone more!
    In the book of life one leaf turned o'er!
    Like a red seal is the setting sun
    On the good and the evil men have done,—
    Naught can to-day restore!

    Behold! a giant am I!
    Aloft here in my tower,
    With my granite jaws I devour
    The maize, and the wheat, and the rye,
    And grind them into flour.

    I look down over the farms;
    In the fields of grain I see
    The harvest that is to be,
    And I fling to the air my arms,
    For I know it is all for me.

    I hear the sound of flails
    Far off, from the threshing-floors
    In barns, with their open doors,
    And the wind, the wind in my sails,
    Louder and louder roars.

    I stand here in my place,
    With my foot on the rock below,
    And whichever way it may blow,
    I meet it face to face,
    As a brave man meets his foe.

    And while we wrestle and strive,
    My master, the miller, stands
    And feeds me with his hands;
    For he knows who makes him thrive,
    Who makes him lord of lands.

    On Sundays I take my rest;
    Church-going bells begin
    Their low, melodious din;
    I cross my arms on my breast,
    And all is peace within.

  2. The Old Windmill

    by Clarence Albert Murch

    Battered windmill, old and gray,
    Swinging there athwart the sky,
    Sport of every idle breeze
    That may chance to wander by.
    Blow they fair or blow they foul,
    Still you wag your dingy cowl
    Through the livelong night and day,
    Weather-beaten, old and gray.

    Is that endless monotone—
    Half a shriek and half a groan—
    That in dreary cadence drones
    From your old rheumatic bones,
    Echo of some sylvan tune,
    Or forgotten forest rune
    From the aisles of long ago,
    Calling, calling, soft and low
    Through the banished years that creep
    Back to some old forest dim,
    Where the woodland zephyrs sweep
    Dancing leaf and swaying limb?

    As the lazy breezes blow
    All your gaunt arms to and fro,
    Swinging ever round and round,
    To that weird, unearthly sound,
    Do you ever wish that some
    Wandering Don Quixote of wind
    With its stormy lance might come—
    End that weary, ceaseless grind?

    Life is like a windmill gray,
    Swinging ’twixt the earth and sky;
    Sport of every passing breeze
    That may chance to wander by.
    Still we grind with smile or scowl,
    Blow they fair or blow they foul;
    Sure that we shall be some day,
    Weather-beaten, old and gray.

  3. Windmills

    by John Gould Fletcher

    The windmills, like great sunflowers of steel,
    Lift themselves proudly over the straggling houses;
    And at their feet the deep blue-green alfalfa
    Cuts the desert like the stroke of a sword.

    Yellow melon flowers
    Crawl beneath the withered peach-trees;
    A date-palm throws its heavy fronds of steel
    Against the scoured metallic sky.

    The houses, double-roofed for coolness,
    Cower amid the manzanita scrub.
    A man with jingling spurs
    Walks heavily out of a vine-bowered doorway,
    Mounts his pony, rides away.

    The windmills stare at the sun.
    The yellow earth cracks and blisters.
    Everything is still.

    In the afternoon
    The wind takes dry waves of heat and tosses them
    Mingled with dust, up and down the streets,
    Against the belfry with its green bells:

    And, after sunset, when the sky
    Becomes a green and orange fan,
    The windmills, like great sunflowers on dried stalks,
    Stare hard at the sun they cannot follow.

    Turning, turning, forever turning
    In the chill night-wind that sweeps over the valley,
    With the shriek and the clank of the pumps groaning beneath them,
    And the choking gurgle of tepid water.

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