#ClassicPoetry – #HenryWadsworthLongfellow – #The Village Blacksmith

This was one of my favorite poems when I was in middle school, and I realized I still love it today, especially the message it shares. After all, some things are eternal.


The Village Blacksmith
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – 1807-1882

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 burning deed and thought.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator. His original works include Paul Revere’s Ride, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was the first American to completely translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and was one of the Fireside Poets from New England.

Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, which was then still part of Massachusetts. He graduated from Bowdoin College and became a professor there and, later, at Harvard College after studying in Europe. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). He retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, and he lived the remainder of his life in the Revolutionary War headquarters of George Washington in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Longfellow died in 1882.

Longfellow wrote many lyric poems known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and had success overseas.


Hope you guys enjoyed this one
as much as I did!

28 thoughts on “#ClassicPoetry – #HenryWadsworthLongfellow – #The Village Blacksmith

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Harmony. It’s always been a favorite of mine, though I hadn’t thought about it in years. I wondered if I would still enjoy it as much, but I needn’t have worried. It still touches my heart! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • I may have been younger than middle school/junior high when I memorized it too, Mae. Can’t remember exactly, but I know how much I loved it then, and still do. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Mae, and that it brought back fond memories! 😀 ❤

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    • You’re welcome, Nancy. I’m enjoying sharing these classic poems from time to time, and this one is especially dear to me. Glad you enjoyed it. As for Alfalfa, while I remember him (and his “cowlick”) clearly, I don’t remember too many specifics, so you could be right. I’d like to have seen that one. 😀 ❤

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  1. You’re welcome, Staci! I started this series a couple of months ago and hope to keep it going for some time, yet. I love classic poetry, too, and am so glad you enjoyed reading this one again. Me, too! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For some reason I was only familiar with the first verse – which is a crying shame because the whole poem is so powerful and moving. Many thanks for this, Marcia- a genuine pleasure. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • The first verse was the only one I could actually recite today, Trish. The others had been lost in my over-crowded mind somewhere. But as I re-read it for this post, it all came back to me, and it’s just so beautiful. Powerful and moving, as you say. I’m really glad you enjoyed reading the whole thing. There’s a reason everyone recognizes the name Longfellow, even if they aren’t real familiar with his works. Amazing creative genius, for sure. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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