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Longfellow's Blacksmith Poem

 

The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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 wipe
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!

Longfellow Favorite Poems

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) was the most popular American poet of his time, and one of the most famous American poets of all time. It has been said that certain of his poems-the long narratives Evangeline and The Song of Hiawatha most notably-were once read in every literate home in America. A former teacher who fulfilled his dream to make a living as a poet, Longfellow taught at Bowdoin and Harvard, was eventually honored for his poetry with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge, and is one of the few Americans to have a monument dedicated to his memory in Westminster Abbey. This choice collection of his works, which reflects his mastery of a rich variety of poetic forms and meters, includes one of his best narrative poems, The Courtship of Miles Standish. Here, too, are such famous poems as "The Village Blacksmith," "The Wreck of the Hesperus," "The Children's Hour," "Paul Revere's Ride," and other poems on subjects ranging from lost youth and Giotto's Tower to slavery and the building of a ship. Includes a selection from the Common Core State Standards Initiative: "Paul Revere's Ride."