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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 Aaming forge, and hear the bellows roar, And catch the burning sparks that Ay like chaff from a threshing
floor. He goes on Sunday to his 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. 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 faming forge of life, our fortunes must be wrought ;Thus, on its sounding anvil, shaped each burning deed and thought !
Longfellow, whose Village Blacksmith we have now introduced, has been justly regarded, both at home and abroad, as one of the representative poets of the age. His muse is characterized by rare melody of versification and brilliancy of imagery; while the beautiful and delicate feeling of home affections that pervades his productions, renders him an especial favourite with all fireside circles. His historical and descriptive poems possess a rich and quaint charm. Nothing can exceed the exquisite finish of some of his shorter poems,-it was some half-dozen of these that secured for him so eminent a fame. Those poems which have already become classic are his Psalm of Life, The Old Clock on the Stairs, Village Blacksmith,