The Mill-stream

Under the tangled late summer grasses
After the rain shower full the stream passes,
Flooding and gushing down through the bracken,
Not till the mill-pond does its flow slacken.
Down through red campion, hart’s tongue and wild bramble,
Over the boulders, see the stream scramble!
Lost in a tunnel of ferns by the roadside,
Hidden from view as it runs down the hillside,
Bullrushes, foxgloves, speedwell and mallow
Border its passage through fields lying fallow.
Down through the mill-race, through sluice gates turning,
Over the mill-wheel splashing and churning.
Round goes the wheel and the stones grind and grumble
And into the sacks the flour starts to tumble.
Here all is noise with the rumble and creaking,
But high in the loft where the sunlight is streaming,
On fat sacks of grain in the dust calmly seated,
The ghosts of past millers with smocks neatly pleated
Gossip of things as they once used to be,
While the stream rushes onwards down to the sea.

Quetivel Mill, St Peter’s Valley, Jersey