Imágenes de página

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 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 Aaming 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,


[ocr errors]

ahe night shall be filled with music

And Ire sanes, itrat infart the day Shale fold them tants like the Arals

And as silenate steak away.
- interne le Song Sellona

[ocr errors]

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 Aeeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffed drums, are beating

Funeral marches to the grave.

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time!
Footprints! that perhaps another,

Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

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 wander on, through doubts and fears,
Must ache and bleed beneath your load!

« AnteriorContinuar »