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The Village Blacksmith

Language: English

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.

Translation(s): GER GER GER

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages or adaptations:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Willy Kastner , title unknown by Thomas Anderton.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Alice Mattullath , title unknown by William Edwin Haesche.

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Linda Godry) , title 1: "Unter einem verzweigten Kastanienbaum", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-05-08.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:06
Line count: 48
Word count: 286

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Unter einem verzweigten Kastanienbaum

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Unter einem verzweigten Kastanienbaum
Steht der Dorfschmied;
Der Schmied ist ein gar kräftiger Mann,
mit großen sehnigen Händen;
und die Muskeln seiner starken Arme
sind so stark wie eiserne Bande.

Sein Haar ist kraus, schwarz und lang,
sein Gesicht braun gebrannt;
ehrlicher Schweiß steht ihm auf der Stirn,
er plagt sich recht,
und sieht jedem grad ins Gesicht,
denn er bleibt niemandem etwas schuldig.

Tag ein, Tag aus, von früh bis spät,
hört man seine Blasebälge fauchen;
seinen Vorschlaghammer nieder gehen,
mit beherrschter Kraft und Ruhe,
so, wie ein Küster im Dorf
die Abendglocke läutet,

Die Kinder, nach der Schule
Schau'n herein zur offenen Tür;
Wie gebannt vom glühenden Schmiedefeuer,
vom Fauchen der Blasebälge,
und versuchen die Funken zu fangen, die auffliegen
wie Spreu auf dem Dresch-Boden(der Tenne).

Des Sonntags geht er zur Kirche,
und sitzt in der Bank mit seinen Söhnen;
Er hört dem Priester zu, der betet und predigt,
hört die Stimme seiner Tochter,
die im Kirchenchor singt,
und freut sich seines Lebens.

Ihrer Stimme Klang erinnert ihn an deren Mutter,
die nun im Paradiese singt!
Er denkt an sie, die sie
Nun im Grabe liegt;
Und mit seinen harten, rauen Händen
Wischt er sich eine Träne aus den Augenwinkeln.

Arbeit, Freude, Kummer,
Und immer weiter geht das Leben;
Jeder Morgen bringt neue Aufgaben,
jeden Abend sind sie erledigt;
Manches begonnen, manches geschafft,
so kommt die Nachtruhe verdient.

Dank, Dank dir, mein guter Geselle,
für die Lehre die du erteilt!
Im glühenden Schmiedefeuer des Lebens
Müssen wir uns unser Glück schmieden;
Auf seinem Amboss zurechtbiegen
Jeden drängenden Wunsch, jede Tat.

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  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2007 by Linda Godry, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in English by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882), "The Village Blacksmith", appears in Ballads and Other Poems, first published 1842
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Thomas Anderton, Michael William Balfe, William Henry Berwald, John Blockley, Dudley Buck, Herbert Daykin, Samuel Richards Gaines, William Edwin Haesche, John Liptrot Hatton, Charles F. Heuberer, T. L. Jephson, Richard Kountz, William Harold Neidlinger, George Balch Nevin, Charles F. Noyes, George Peabody, Carl Reinhardt, W. Rhys-Herbert, Carl Wagner, David A. Warden, Willoughby Hunter Weiss. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2007-09-21.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:27
Line count: 48
Word count: 262