First published in 1840, "The Village Blacksmith" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a wonderful example of a short, narrative poem. It not only tells the reader a story, but it is one which many can relate to since it is really a story of the "everyman". After its initial publication in a periodical, "The Village Blacksmith" was then included in a volume of Longfellow's works entitled Ballads and Other Poems, published in 1841, which included other now well-known poems such as, "The Wreck of the Hesperus" and "Excelsior".
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Program CreditsAnnouncer: Thomas Lamar
Narrator: Jeffrey K. Holbrook
Composer: Andrew Boone
Sound Design & Mixing: Christopher Green
Photography: Lubos Houska
Producer/Director: J.D. Sutter
Special thanks to the Primitive Baptist Sermon Library for the "Amazing Grace" audio and to Jeremy Sarber for helping us track it down.
Entry on Wikipedia for "The Village Blacksmith"
Entry on Wikipedia for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Longfellow's Bio on The Poetry Foundation
HWLongfellow.org - A site maintained by the Maine Historical Society
Indepth Analysis of "The Village Blacksmith" from enotes
Lessons Learned From "The Village Blacksmith" - Blog post from The Art of Manliness
|Henry Wadsworth Longfellow|
Image credit: Wikimedia
Under a spreading chestnut tree
"The Village Blacksmith" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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 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 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.
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!
|Original Manuscript of the Poem|
Public Domain, Link
This production is dedicated to Floyde Holbrook, 1934 - 2017.
"Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work..." Isaiah 54:16 KJV