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 haul, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Village Blacksmith


  1. ivan latham says:

    henry wadsworth longfellows, the village blacksmith is my favorite poem because we listened to it in elementary school. i can just picture the blacksmith in my mind!

  2. Jerry Crystal says:

    Under the spreading donut tree
    The village chestnut stands
    And what a mighty nut is he
    With whiskers on his hands.
    And the muscles in his scrawny arms
    Are strong as rubber bands.

  3. Karen says:

    This was my Mums favourite poem from childhood days in Warwick Queensland Austalia. They learnt it off by heart, and when my son needed a piece of poetry for his English assignment this was dug out of my mothers head at a moments notice, she remembered most but had to think about the rest and ring me later, but in checking the original she had done very well. She is 80 now. The poem is so simple and heartfelt. Great words to live by. Bring it back is schools again I say.

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