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Poem 3 – The Miller of the Dee 9 th Grade, English.

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1 Poem 3 – The Miller of the Dee 9 th Grade, English

2 POEM - 3 THE MILLER OF THE DEE There dwelt a miller, hale and bold, Beside the River Dee; He work’d and sang from morn to 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?"

3 The miller smiled and doff’d 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."

4 "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! - Charles Mackay

5 THE POET CHARLES MACKAY ( ) was born in Perth, Scotland. He spent his early life in France. Later he shifted to London and took to journalism. He also wrote History of London City. “The Miller of the Dee” is a beautiful song with a message. Here the poet says that it is only the richness of heart and not material wealth or power which makes a man happy. Love, simplicity and kindness to others should be one’s natural approach for a happy and contented life.

6 SUMMARY OF THE POEM There lived a miller beside the river, Dee. He lived a very contented life. He sang a song “I envy nobody, no, not I, and nobody envies me” happily everyday from morning till evening. One day, the King Hal passed by his mill and heard him happily singing the song. The King told him that the miller was quite wrong. He enquired the miller on what made him sing in such care free voice while the King was sad even though he was King. The miller greeted the King and replied that he loved his wife, three children and his friends. He also has no debt to pay and that the river Dee helped him run the mill and make his living. And that these were the reasons why he was always happy. At last, the King said farewell to the miller. The King though told him not to say that nobody envied him, because the King now envied the miller of his life. He said that the miller’s mealy cap was as valued as the crown of the King and his Mill was the cost of his Kingdom. The King also mentioned that such sincere and loyal people like the miller are the pride of England, as he left the place.

7 GLOSSARY S. Noo WordMeaning 1BabesChildren (poetic use) 2BlitheHappy 3BurdenWords repeated at the end of every stanza. 4DeeThe river Dee in England which flows through Cheshire 5Doff’d(do off) – took off 6 Dwell (present) Dwelt (past) lived 7HalKing Henry V of England 8halehealthy 9Kingdom’s feeWealth got from the kingdom 10LarkA happy singing bird. 11lightFree from care 12Mealy capCap covered with flour - dirt 13quothSaid (poetic use) 14Thou’rtYou are (poetic use)

8 COMPREHENSION I.Answer each of the following questions in a word or a phrase each: 1.Name the river mentioned in the poem. (Answer: Dee) 2.Who lived by the side of the river ? (Answer: Miller) 3.What is a lark? (Answer: A happy singing bird) 4.Does the king fully agreed with the miller ? (Answer: Yes) II.Read the following lines and answer the questions that follow: 1.“Thou’rt wrong my friend?” a)Who said this? Answer: The old king Hal said this. b)To whom was this said? Answer: This was said to miller. c)What was the wrong thing? Answer: King told to miller that he was wrong by saying not that he alone envy nobody and nobody envied him.

9 2.“I thank the river Dee” a)Who says this? Answer: Miller said this b)To whom is this said? Answer: This was said to the King Hal. c)Why does he thank the river? Answer: He thanked the river Dee, because his mill was turned by the water flow in the river and the mill in turn ground the corn and the earnings out of which helped him to feed his children. 3.“Thy mealy cap is worth my crown Thy mill, my kingdom’s fee” a)Who said this? Answer: King Hal said this to the miller. a)Who wore the mealy cap? Answer: Miller was wearing the mealy cap a)Why was this said? Answer: King Hal said that the worth of miller’s mealy cap was as good as of his crown as the worth of his mill was as worthy as the wealth of kingdom. Miller was contented with the earnings he got out of grinding the corn with which he was feeding his entire family with pleasure and immense love.

10 4.“Such men as thou are England’s boast” a)Who says this? Answer: King Hal said this. b)Who is the man referred to? Answer: King Hal referred this to miller. c)Why is he praised as England’s boast? Answer: King Hal praised him loudly because he was proud of the miller, being his citizen, who has shown that it was only the richness in the heart and not material wealth or power could make a man happy.

11 I.Answer the following questions in one or two sentences each: 1.Where did the miller live? Answer: Miller lived beside the river Dee. 2.When did the miller work? Answer: Miller worked from morning to night. 3.What was the burden of Miller’s song? Answer: The burden of his song forever used to be, “ I envy nobody; no, not I and nobody envies me”. 4.Who was Hal? Answer: Hal was king of England. He was King Henry V of England. 5.What did the king say about the burden of the song? Answer: King Hal told to the miller that the miller was wrong and he could gladly change himself like miller in case his heart too becoming light like of miller.

12 6.What did the king want to know from the miller? Answer: King Hal told to the miller that in spite of him being the King, he was sad and asked him to tell him what made the miller to sing so loudly with repeated burden not that he alone envy nobody and nobody envied him. 7.Why did miller take of his cap? Answer: Miller took off his cap with respect towards the King that was in practice. 8.What was the miller’s reply to the King? Answer: Miller said that he did earn his bread on his own and was caring his wife, three children in the family and his friend with love. He was free from debts. Also he thanked the river Dee, because his mill was turned by the water flow in the river and the mill in turn ground the corn and the earnings out of which helped him to feed his children. 9.Why does the miller thank the river Dee? Answer: Miller thanked the river Dee, because his mill was turned by the water flow in the river and the mill in turn ground the corn and the earnings out of which helped him to feed his children. 10.What according to the king was the worth of the mealy cap? Answer: According to the king, mealy cap of miller was the worth of his crown.

13 COMPOSITION 1.Write in your own words, the story of the poem, “The Miller of the Dee” Once upon a time, there lived a miller on the bank of the river Dee in England. He lived with his wife and three children. He was running a mill using the water flow of the river Dee. He was earning through the mill grinding the corn. He worked daily from morning till night. While working he used to sing and the burden of his song used to say not that he alone envy nobody and nobody envied him. One day, the King Hal happened to listen miller’s song. King Hal told to the miller that in spite of him being the King, he was sad and asked him to tell him what made the miller to sing so loudly with repeated burden not that he alone envy nobody and nobody envied him. Miller with a smile took off his cap in respect and replied. Miller said that he did earn his bread on his own and was caring his family with love. He was free from debts. Also he thanked the river Dee for helping him to turn the mill and to feed his children. After listening this the King Hal said that the worth of miller’s mealy cap was as good as of his crown as the worth of his mill was as worthy as the wealth of kingdom. King Hal praised him loudly because he was proud of the miller, being his citizen, who has shown that it was only the richness in the heart and not material wealth or power could make a man happy.

14 1.Make a list of rhyming words in the poem and write them in sets. Answer: 1) Dee, he, be and me 2) be, thee, free and Dee 3) sing and king 4) he, three, Dee and me 5) be, thee, fee and Dee. 2.What is the message of the poem, “ The Miller of the Dee” Answer: The poem says that it is only the richness of the heart and not material wealth or power which makes a man happy. APPRECIATION


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