Pearls of Wisdom

#8 The Mill Cannot Grind with the Water that is Past.

This was one of my mother’s sayings. It comes from a poem written by Bishop Reginald Heber; an acknowledged copy is provided below. It is a beautiful poem and a section of it was written in my mother’s autograph book. My mother would recite the poem to me as we did the dishes; she washing and me wiping as we tackled what seemed to be the never ending number of dirty dishes in our large family. Still, I learnt a lot during those times, lots of stories of events that occurred long before I had been born and stories that I treasure.

The poem deals with many aspects of life; work, seasons, youth, love, time, opportunity, and also wasted love, time and opportunity. Life flows forever forward, just like the stream which flows tranquil on its way. This poem is about carpe diem; seize the day.

It is about new opportunity which is presented afresh with each new day and that living requires new water, new hope, new action with each sunrise. It is a reminder that we cannot live in the past; the past is gone, it provides no new energy for today. It is a call to be proactive today so as to avoid the regret of inaction. For the mill cannot grind with the water that is past.

The Watermill
by Bishop Reginald Heber (1783 – 1826)
 

Listen to the watermill through the live-long day;
How the clicking of its wheel wears the hours away.
Languidly the autumn wind stirs the greenwood leaves;
From the field the reapers sing, binding up their sheaves.
And a proverb haunts my mind as a spell is cast:
The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.
Autumn winds revive no more leaves that once are shed,
And the sickle cannot reap corn once gathered;
And the ruffled stream flows on, tranquil, deep and still;
Never gliding back again to the watermill.
Truly speaks the proverb old, with a meaning vast,
The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.
Take the lesson to thyself, loving heart and true,
Golden years are fleeting by, youth is passing too.
Learn to make the most of life, lose no happy day,
Time will never bring thee back chances swept away.
Leave no tender word unsaid, love while love shall last:
The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.
Work! While yet the daylight shines man of strength and will,
Never does the streamlet glide useless to the mill.
Wait not till tomorrow’s sun beams upon thy way;
All that thou can call thine own lies in thy today.
Power, and intellect and health, may not always last:
The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.
Oh! The wasted hours of life that have drifted by,
Oh! The good that might have been lost without a sigh;
Love that we might once have saved by a single word;
Thoughts conceived but never penned, perishing unheard.
Take the proverb to thy heart, take and hold it fast:
The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.
https://www.hampshiremills.org/Newsletters/96%20Spring

The quote in my mother’s autograph book, penned by a hopeful suitor, was

Leave no tender word unsaid, love while love shall last:
The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.

Image result for an image of a running stream
Image : Good free photos.com

What good advice!

Published by Estelle Deshon

I am in the 7th decade of my wayleadsontowaylife. I love many things in this life and as my blog unfolds I hope I am able to humbly share my loves and many of the lessons learnt along the way. I am Estelle Deshon, Poet, Story Teller, Writer, Learner, Blogger, Teacher and Speaker. I hope we are able to journey together.

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