The Miller's Lament
by Mark Temple
Out on the wold, there stands all forlorn,
A crumbling old mill, that once ground the corn
Lost are her sails, her stones turn no more
The daily bread comes from the new superstore.
The spindles are splintered and covered in rust
The tentering gear has bitten the dust
The mortise wheel’s missing, the governor’s gone
Scavenged and salvaged by Steptoe and son.
The sack-hoists been ransacked, lost is the chain
Just hessian sacks that were once filled with grain
The damsel's destroyed and so is the hopper
The chutes were all shot when the horse came a cropper.
The bolter's unbolted, the crown post is uncrowned
The pollend is pole axed and stuck in the ground
The brayer’s all busted, the smutter as well
There’s no huperlather hitched to the bell.
Back in the war, the ironwork went
‘Salvage for spitfires, so it was sent.
‘Show us yer metal’ the scrap merchants cried
Many chaps did, and so many died .
The millstones were pinched two summers ago
How they removed them, none of us know
They’re sat in a garden, five miles away.
A posh water feature; well, that’s what folks say.
The fly is far-weltered, the spider is too.
Gutted the glut-box, shattered the shoe.
Yet times are a-changing we’ve had to move on
But won’t we be sad when our history’s gone?
Gone with the wind, our link to the past.
Shrines to an age which are vanishing fast
So keen are the folk who now volunteer.
That some can be saved and soon re appear.
So much to be done. That cap needs re-roofing,
Will Hemlaths need hemming, cogs need re-toothing
Useful advice from the experts is great
But not of much use, if it’s offered too late.
The brake-lever’s broken, no longer empowered
The dresser’s undressed, the sprattle’s defloured.
By salvaging, scavenging ought they can find
Fair blows the fresh wind, for the new daily grind.
With passion they’ll strive to repair and restore.
At Sisbey and Lincoln they’ve tackled that chore.
At Waltham and Kirton the works near complete
‘‘Twas grinding them down, now they just grind the wheat.”
In wold and in fen, a few girls remain.
At Boston, Maud Foster, aside of the Drain
The post mill at Wrawby, near Brigg, is in sail.
Both Waltham and Alford can still tell a tale.
The mighty beast, Moulton’s restored to its peak
Cream teas still served several days in the week
At Burgh le Marsh, they make their own bread
Heckington’s geared up and steaming ahead.
Three sheets to the wind we'll come through the rye
And carry on luffing 'til nightfall is nigh
With wonderful wallowers we'll work again
Grating the grist and grinding the grain.
Wonderful, I Love it - Mark tells me there is more to come