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I Forge Iron

Onward through life he goes

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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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The Picture shown above is by Paul Detlefsen and is a cropped view of the original.

This is one of the Original Mass Produced full sized copies hanging on my wall, its 4 ft. wide and 2 ft. tall.

The ones below are a few of my Collection I have hanging on the wall.

This was a Table Placemat that was used as some function I was at. Needless to say I didn't eat on it and salvaged as many good ones as I could.

This was on an old Shop Calendar from the 50's or 60's.

This one is not very large as it was on a wooden match box.

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The painting is by Paul Detlefsen, a google image search on him will turn up a few of his paintings. One of them hung in my grandparents living room for years. Lots of reproductions out there. Ebay always has a few. These were mass produced in the 40's and 50's I think. I've got a smaller one on a souvenier block of wood and a larger version on canvas, in need of a frame.

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