The Mill

By Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935 Edwin Arlington Robinson
The miller's wife had waited long,
      The tea was cold, the fire was dead;
And there might yet be nothing wrong
      In how he went and what he said:
"There are no millers any more,"
      Was all that she had heard him say;
And he had lingered at the door
      So long that it seemed yesterday.

Sick with a fear that had no form
      She knew that she was there at last;
And in the mill there was a warm
      And mealy fragrance of the past.
What else there was would only seem
      To say again what he had meant;
And what was hanging from a beam
      Would not have heeded where she went.

And if she thought it followed her,
      She may have reasoned in the dark
That one way of the few there were
      Would hide her and would leave no mark:
Black water, smooth above the weir
      Like starry velvet in the night,
Though ruffled once, would soon appear
      The same as ever to the sight.

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Poet Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Disappointment & Failure, Living, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities, Nature, Time & Brevity, Jobs & Working

Poetic Terms Imagery, Simile, Rhymed Stanza

 Edwin  Arlington Robinson

Biography

“One of the most prolific major American poets of the twentieth century, Edwin Arlington Robinson is, ironically, best remembered for only a handful of short poems,” stated Robert Gilbert in the Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography. Fellow writer Amy Lowell declared in the New York Times Book Review, “Edwin Arlington Robinson is poetry. I can think of no other living writer who has so consistently dedicated his life . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Disappointment & Failure, Living, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities, Nature, Time & Brevity, Jobs & Working

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Imagery, Simile, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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