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The Village Blacksmith

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1841

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
⁠  The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
⁠  With large and sinewy hands,
And the muscles of his brawny arms
⁠  Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long;
⁠  His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
⁠  He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
⁠  For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
⁠  You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
⁠  With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
⁠  When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
⁠  Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
⁠  And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
⁠  Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
⁠  And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
⁠  He hears his daughter's voice
Singing in the village choir,
⁠  And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice
⁠  Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
⁠  How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
⁠  A tear out of his eyes.

⁠  Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
⁠  Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
⁠  Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
⁠  For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
⁠  Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
⁠  Each burning deed and thought.

Published in Ballads and Other Poems

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