I’ve long believed that when the night
Its veil of blackest crepe has let to slip,
The oldest parts of the garden welcome first
The tiny tread of fairy-people in the shimmering dark.
Those little hollows underneath the beech’s roots
I know to be a favourite spot. But better still,
In the blackest shadow of the trees a millstone stands.
And once it knew hard labour as it ground
The wheat, with endless movement of machinery
And likely thought that life would never end
But, with slow monotony of place and sound
Drag on. Yet now it stands, on a slow full slope
Of lawn, with nought to do but watch the change
Of seasons, and never a care for where, in ruin
And wreck the old mill stands alone. It too
Simply watches all day long with laziness
The roll of the countryside as it meets the sky.
In the blackest shadow of the trees the millstone stands,
With its hard gritstone sides caressed with moss
And now the stars are gathering one by one
In the empty sky. And quicker still the fairies come
They pick the little lichen cups and from
Them drink the dew. Then they sit awhile, in a row
On the hart’s tongue fern, and in the starry moss-forests they dance.