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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
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge, with measured beat and
Like a sexton ringing the village bell, when the evening sun is low.
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,
homigle shall be filled with music
And the canes, fiat in front iliar dan Shale Sola shentent's like the Arabens,
bilenty steal awar Hermene Song Sellous
And as silenate
Excelsior, The Ladder of St. Augustine, and The Footsteps of Angels , although there are many later productions that merit, and must attain, a like distinction. Here are three noble verses from the Psalm of Life :
Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Funeral marches to the grave.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
Footprints on the sands of time!
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing,—shall take heart again.
The Song of Hiawatha has perhaps been the most popular of any of his recent productions ; but that which is generally esteemed his greatest work is Evangeline, which possesses an additional interest for us,
since it illustrates some of the stirring incidents of our early history. “I shall never forget,” writes an English author, on his recent visit to the United States, “that I have been permitted to touch the hand, and to listen to the discourse-full of calm, and wise, and gentle things of a noble American man,—of him who wrote the Village Blacksmith and Evangeline, -of him whose life has been blameless, whose record is pure, whose name is a sound of fame to all people—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.”
One of his recent poems, entitled “Weariness,” must conclude our selections from his works :
O little feet, that such long years
Must ache and bleed beneath your load!