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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH" BY LONGFELLOW

As I've noted many times before here, I've a number of ancestors who
were blacksmiths.The list will probably have more names added later,
but at the moment this is where it stands:

Thomas Chandler (1628-1703) 9x great grandfather
John Prescott (1604-1681) 10x great grandfather
Jonas Prescott (1648-1723) 9x great grandfather
John Ames  (1756-1833) 5x great grandfather
Jonathan Phelps Ames (1781-1861) 4x great grandfather
John Cutter West (1802-1862)3x great grandfather

(And as far as I know, none of them ever made macaroni & cheese or
mistook it for "Liquid go-old".)

So, in honor of my smithy ancestors, here is one of
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's best know poems:

    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;
     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.

           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 b
urning deed and thought.

1 comment:

Sue McCormick said...

I also have blacksmiths among my ancestors, although I didn't know this when I stood on N. Main and watched the blacksmith shoe horses and add steel tires to wagon rims. I just watched because he fascinated me. I had visited my Grandmother on several occasions before we were given the Longfellow poem to study, so I felt an immediate connection to the poem; unusual for a city girl to feel.