Two neighbors, living on a hill,
Had each and side by side a mill.
The one was Jones, a thrifty wight
Whose mill in every wind went right.
The storm and tempest vainly spent
Their rage upon it round it went!
E'en when the summer breeze was light,
The whirling wings performed their flight;
And hence a village saying rose
"As sure as Jones's mill, it goes."
Not so with neighbor Smith's close by;
Full half the time it would not ply:
Save only when the wind was west,
Still as a post it stood at rest.
By every tempest it was battered,
By every thundergust 'twas shattered;
Through many a rent the rain did filter;
And, fair or foul, 'twas out of kilter;
And thus the saying came at last
"Smith's mill is made for folks that fast."
Now, who can read this riddle right?
Two mills are standing on a height
One whirling brisk, whate'er the weather,
The other, idle, weeks together!
Come, gentle reader, lend thine ear,
And thou the simple truth shalt hear;
And mark, for here the moral lurks,
Smith held to faith, but not to works;
While Jones believed in both, and so,
By faith and practice, made it go!
Smith prayed, and straight sent in his bill,
Expecting Heaven to tend his mill;
And grumbled sore, whene'er he found
That wheels ungreased would not go round.
Not so with Jones for, though as prayerful,
To grease his wheels he e'er was careful,
And healed, with ready stitch, each rent
That ruthless time or tempest sent;
And thus, by works, his faith expressed,
Good neighbor Jones by Heaven was blessed.