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intruder357

LONGFELLOW

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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. 

Toiling,--rejoicing,--sorrowing,
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. 1807–1882

 

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How many of us learnt this at school? Lovely poem, although misinterpreted by so many. I wish people would read past the first two lines and understand that the smithy is the place and the man is the smith. :(

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Obviously written before the spread of the chestnut blight.

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And still he/she stands

His/her brow is wet with honest sweat,
He/ she earns whate'er we can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
 and wonders that so few understand

 

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The first shop I worked  in 1956 was a shed roof nailed onto a big Elm Tree with no sides in Vermont, that was before Dutch Elm decease killed all the Elm Trees.  Love the Longfellow Poem esp. after I learned there were more than two lines!

The Hair mentioned in the second verse says Black, mine isn't anymore.

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I become quite tired of correcting the folks (tourists) who visit the shop and call me a smithy. Enough!!!

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