Poem of the day

The Village Blacksmith
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

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.

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