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Mr. Allen A. Sherrill

Mr. Sherrill was born in the house where he lived as an adult, on upper Brandywine Road.

As a boy he always went to Brandywine mill with his father, where he took his corn to be ground into meal.

When well past middle age Allen was prompted to put his affection for this old mill into this beautiful poem.

This poem was submitted for print by the composer.

Brandywine Poem


Allen A. Sherrill
transcribed by Amanda Czocher

Enshrined in the heart of a country-side
Memories of the old, old mill lie deep,
Revealed by chance, spoken with pride,
Glimpses from the past, from friendly converse peep.

The miller and the mill are both there
Small epochs in the lives of men,
In stormy flood, or weather fair-
When comes the thought, they live again.

The changes which the years have made
Are but a curtain o’er the past,
Which by the winds of time is played,
Like spider’s web in corner cast.

We see its rugged shape stand high,
Beyond the bridge, above the winter scene-

The ice-bound dam, whose timbers lie
Beneath the current, swift and clean.

We hear again the water’s roar,
And feel the trembling of the mill;
The sacks of grain upon its floor
By toilsome road and muddy hill-

Have journeyed to the spinning stones.
The genial miller moves about,
And perhaps a furtive bottle loans
To pay a debt and help the gossip out.

The horses stamp and munch their grain
In the shed beside the mill,
Whose spacious shelter, rude and plain,
Is shadowed by the pinewood still.

The willows by the mill-race mouth
Have sheltered many a fishing lad.
Have drooped and hung in summer’s drouth,
And braved the springtime torrent mad.

The ancient toll-dish, shiny-smooth of wood,
The wooden cogs and parts, all fogged by hand,
The mighty beams, whose strength had stood
Since Man first cleared the virgin land.

The stage-coach trail of that old, early day,
Which lies where Indian footsteps trod,
With those who traced it passed away.
Tilled and furrowed and covered by the sod.

And now when evening rays of summer sun
Sift through the dark’ning gorge below
To leave the mossy boulders one by one,
And give the falling mist a golden glow.

He who sees, will feel the spell
Of quiet beauty at the close of day-
With mind at ease, while heart throbs swell-
A precious gain to bear away.