"Retribution" is a short poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
|“||Though the mills of God grind slowly;
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting,
With exactness grinds he all.
He took this image of slow but certain divine retribution from verses by the 17th-century German epigrammatist and poet Friedrich von Logau (Retribution, in Deutscher Sinngedichte drei Tausend, first published in 1654). Logau was translating a hexameter from Adversus Mathematicos (Against the Mathematicians) by the Ancient Greek sceptic philosopher, Sextus Empiricus, who in turn was quoting an unknown poet. Plutarch comprehensively rejects the notion of the "slow-grinding mills of the gods" in his essay, On God's Slowness to Punish. Before Logau, the expression was also anthologised by the 17th-century English poet George Herbert in his collection of proverbs entitled Jacula Prudentum, published in 1652.
- Hugh Rawson and Margaret Miner, ed. (2006). "God, 8". The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-19-516823-5.
- John Pairman Brown, Israel and Hellas 3
- Plutarch, Ian Kidd, Robin Waterfield, "On God's Slowness to Punish", Essays
- D.L. Blank, trans., Sextus Empiricus: Against the Grammarians (Adversus Mathematicos I), ISBN 0-19-824470-3, p. 311
- Gagné, Renaud (2013). Ancestral Fault in Ancient Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-107-03980-3.