Millers Lament

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