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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’

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 arm
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 died this date (3/24/1882) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He wrote “Psalm of Life” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”  Evangeline” “Paul Revere’s Ride” etc

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“A Psalm of Life”

 

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
        Life is but an empty dream ! —
   For the soul is dead that slumbers,
        And things are not what they seem.

 

    Life is real !   Life is earnest!
        And the grave is not its goal ;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
        Was not spoken of the soul.

 

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
        Is our destined end or way ;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
        Find us farther than to-day.

 

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
        And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
        Funeral marches to the grave.

 

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
        In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
        Be a hero in the strife !

 

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant !
        Let the dead Past bury its dead !
    Act,— act in the living Present !
        Heart within, and God o’erhead !

 

    Lives of great men all remind us
        We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
        Footprints on the sands of time ;

 

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
        Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
        Seeing, shall take heart again.

 

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
        With a heart for any fate ;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
        Learn to labor and to wait.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born this date (2/27/1807) in Port­land, Maine.

He was one of the greatest poets of America.  See also his “Oh, How Blest Are Ye Whose Toils Are Ended” And his well known Christmas Carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”  He died 3/24/1882.

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