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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;
He earns whate'er he can,
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 ;
And hear the bellows roar,
Like chaff from a threshing floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears his daughter's voice,
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 !