There dwelt a miller, hale and bold,
Beside the river Dee;
He worked 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 good King Hal,
"As 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'm a king,
Beside the river Dee?"
The miller smiled, and doffed his cap,
"I earn my bread," quoth he;
"I love my wife, I love my friend,
I love my children three;
I owe no penny I cannot pay,
I thank the river Dee
That turns the mill that grinds the corn
That feeds my babes and me."
"Good friend," said Hal, and sighed 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,
O miller of the Dee!"