The Village Blacksmith (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

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heinzs
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The Village Blacksmith (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Post by heinzs » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:22 pm

An example in sustained imagery.

This piece by Longfellow has long been one of my favorite examples of a story vignette in sustained imagery. It is a traditional rhythm and rhyme piece, a genre that has fallen into ill repute with the modern era of free verse and subjective critique.

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.

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.
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An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
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Richard taylor

Post by Richard taylor » Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:06 am

wonderful like honey his words flow one of the best.
richard

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heinzs
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Post by heinzs » Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:34 am

This poem could also be considered a parable, since it does end with a "moral" statement of sorts.

Thanks Richard!

Heinz
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An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
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