The Windmill

Behold! a giant am I!
Aloft here in my tower,
With my granite jaws I devour
The maize, and the wheat, and the rye,
And grind them into flour.

I look down over the farms;
In the fields of grain I see
The harvest that is to be,
And I fling to the air my arms,
For I know it is all for me.

I hear the sound of flails
Far off, from the threshing-floors
In barns, with their open doors,
And the wind, the wind in my sails,
Louder and louder roars.

I stand here in my place,
With my foot on the rock below,
And whichever way it may blow,
I meet it face to face,
As a brave man meets his foe.

And while we wrestle and strive,
My master, the miller, stands
And feeds me with his hands;
For he knows who makes him thrive,
Who makes him lord of lands.

On Sundays I take my rest;
Church-going bells begin
Their low, melodious din;
I cross my arms on my breast,
And all is peace within.‚Äč

‚ÄčAnalysis of "The Windmill"
Some critics felt that Longfellow's poetry was too cutesy. They felt his prose was more like nursery rhymes and not true poetry. I personally like the sweet and simple personality that Longfellow gives to his subjects. In this poem Longfellow uses personification to make the windmill come alive. "I stand here in my place" or "And feeds me with his hands" are examples of personification. Longfellow also uses imagery to paint a picture and alert the senses of his readers, "And the wind, the wind in my sails, Louder and louder roars" one can envision the blades of the windmill spinning, the wind on our face and the loud sound roaring in our ears. The last stanza I particularly like "I cross my arms on my breast, And all is peace within"-Sunday is the day of rest and because there is no grain being ground the windmill is at peace. The windmill is so alive! We often just think of windmills as just pretty structures with tulips growing around them. The windmills of days gone by were hard working pieces of machinery and this poem doesn't let you forget that. I love this poem!