Poem of the Week: The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

10 February 2012

This poem is simple, but the story it tells is one many should hear. Mr. Longfellow uses the life and daily happenings of a village blacksmith as a background for his greater lesson on how our actions mold and affect -- sometimes permanently -- our lives. 

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 haul, 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.

This poem shows that the man who lives a simple, honest life truly experiences the greatest of happiness, and finds peace in the love of his Father, despite the afflictions that befall him. A wise lesson for us all, I think, especially in a world where we are surrounded with material pleasures that can tempt us to become lax.
"The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat." ~Proverbs 13:4
Have a good night!

4 epistles:

  1. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of my favorite poems, if only because of his poem "Evangeline." Touched me so♥

    Jessica @ Diary of a Beautiful Soul

  2. I am not a huge fan of poetry but in the last few weeks you have hit on two of my favorites here. (If by Kipling being the other) This is such a beautiful picture. A good way to start my Saturday.


    Mrs. W

  3. I absolutely love Henry Wadsworth Longfellow! I literally read through the book of all his completed works!

    My favorite is The Courtship of Myles Standish, I believe. I loved all the romantic drama in it... I just really got into it.

    Anyways, it's always a delight to see a blogger posting his works on their blog! :)


"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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