Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

The Village Blacksmith - Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a might man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawney 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 what'er he can,
And looks the whole word in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear the bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his might sledge,
With measure beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar.
And catch the flaming 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 choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like his 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 hands he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Toiing, -- rejoicing, -- sorrowing,
Onward in life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned his night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou has taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.

Comments about The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Gold Star - 38,233 Points Rajnish Manga (11/15/2015 9:58:00 PM)

    This is not only a great portrayal of a village blacksmith but has a message for us to imbibe to enrich our lives at all levels- personal as well as social. Great poem from a favourite poet:
    Thus at the flaming forge of life / Our fortunes must be wrought / Thus on its sounding anvil shaped / Each burning deed and thought. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 14,029 Points Susan Williams (11/15/2015 2:18:00 PM)

    This is the ideal common man as much today as it was in Longfellow's day. Independent, hard working, religious, warm-hearted. A country can never have too many of these men. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 45,481 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (11/15/2015 8:48:00 AM)

    Very much interesting the poem which gives the minute points of smithy works and feeling of the gentleman who works as village smith. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 14,868 Points Ratnakar Mandlik (11/15/2015 1:51:00 AM)

    A master piece of a poem depicting values linked with eternity. The melody of the meaningful and thought provoking poem is superb. Enjoyed the melody as well as spiritual touch to the poem given by the master spirit. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,419 Points Seema Jayaraman (11/15/2015 12:49:00 AM)

    Loved stumbling over this poem on PH today.. just a few weeks ago an uncle..octogenarian whom we met in Chennai rolled out this poem from memory, he said he had learnt it in school many many decades ago 'The smith, a might man is he, With large and sinewy hands; and he compared the sinewy word mentioned here with the one I had used in my poem A Father's Grief.. what an amazing memory and what a lovely poem to remember for decades.. thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points John Tatum (8/21/2013 11:19:00 PM)

    I memorized this poem in the 6th grade...such strong lines and such great meter and, well, very inspiring. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: thanks, daughter, school, children, tree, hair, friend, mother, home, night, sun, life, child

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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