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The Village Blacksmith
- 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.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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