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The Miller of the Dee

The Miller of the Dee

There dwelt a miller hale and bold
Beside the river Dee;
He work'd and sang from morn till night,
No lark more blithe than he;
And this, the burden of his song,
Forever used to be,
“I envy nobody, no, not I,
And nobody envies me.”

“Thou'rt wrong my friend,” said old King Hal,
“Thou'rt wrong as wrong can be;
For could my heart be light as thine,
I'd gladly change with thee;
And tell me now what makes thee sing
With voice so loud and free,
While I am sad, though I am King
Beside the river Dee.”

The miller smiled, and doff'd his cap,
“I earn my bread,” quoth he
“I love my wife, I love my friends,
I love my children three;
I owe no penny I can not pay,
I thank the river Dee,
That turns the mill, that grinds the corn
To feed my babes and me.”

“Good friend,” said Hal, and sigh'd the while,
“Farewell and happy be;
But say no more, if thou'dst be true,
That no one envies thee;
Thy mealy cap is worth my crown,
Thy mill my kingdom's fee,
Such men as thou are England's boast,
Oh, miller of the Dee.”