The Village Blacksmith. by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.UNDER the 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 watch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floors.
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 hands he wipes
A tear out of his eye.
On 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 me my worthy friend,
For the lessons 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!
This is one of my favourite poems by H.W. Longfellow, a renown American poet, writer translator etc. He was a man of many talents, and translated several of the classics from Latin into English including some of Dante`s works,
He had a lot of sadness in his life including, losing his first wife after a miscarriage.
He married again to Frances Appleton and was blissfully happy, they had several children sadly, one of them died at an early age, this left him bereft.
Then, even more tragedy struck, His wife Fanny accidentally set fire to her dress with a lit match, HWL tried to save her and was badly burned too.
She lived another day but just passed away in her bed.
You can read a lot of his sorrow in his poetry, it's almost as if he could foresee the future.
This, I feel, reflects in the poem and song, known to me from childhood,' UNDERNEATH The Spreading Chestnut Tree' .
It has been rather difficult to use the letter U, just by reading the poem above I was amazed that there was only one word beginning with it, being UNDER!
My thanks to the UBIQUITOUS, dear, Mrs Nesbitt, Denise for devising ABCW and Roger for being a wise and fair UMPIRE of the series.