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a web of many textures

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Pleasantly soundeth the old mill-stream,
In the summer time when the air is still;
It steals on my ear like a voice in a dream,
And it moves my heart as it moved the mill.
I drink in its gentle monotone, —
'T is a plaintive ditty it sings to me,
Of an early love that its youth had known,
Of sundered ties, and constancy.
Ah, dearly it loved the sturdy mill,
And day by day, and year by year,
Did the influence sweet of the gentle rill
The oaken heart of the stout mill cheer.
The bright stream gave its life to the task,
And loved the mill as 't were its bride,
And ne'er a higher boon did ask
Than day and night to seek its side;
To do its bid with earnest zeal,
And uncomplaining e'er was found;
Content, e'en though to turn a wheel
Might prove alone its duty's round.
And Time swept o'er the ancient mill,
And wasted it with a cruel touch,
But lovingly still did the little rill
Cling to that it had loved so much,
Till the wheel was stilled, and drear decay
Became enthroned on the corner-stone,
And the dam a shattered ruin lay,
And the race with weeds was overgrown.
But constantly the gentle tide,
As if with time it had truer grown,
Alone ran on, with a loving pride,
Amid the scenes its joy had known.


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And as gently yet it flows along,
A beauteous type of a loving heart,
That death, desertion, or cruel wrong,
Can ne'er make from its course depart.
And this is the story of the stream
That with a witchery comes to me,
And mingles with my pensive dream
Beneath the shade of the wide-limbed tree.