Gateway to the Classics: For the Children's Hour by Carolyn S. Bailey
 
For the Children's Hour by  Carolyn S. Bailey

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.

Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,

Onward through life he goes;

Each morning sees some task begun,

Each evening see its close;

Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night's repose.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow   

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