(From “The Shepherdess and the Sweep”)
I am a blacksmith, that’s my task;
I ply it day and night.
One thing alone of life I ask,
The skill to do it right.
The strength to wield the hammer blow,
The steadiness to hold,
The eye to make the perfect bow
Before the iron’s cold.
I am a blacksmith and each day
Brings new folk to my door;
Some come to stare and some to stay
And talk the newses o’er.
Some come with ponies to be shod,
And some with ploughs to mend;
Some talk of money, some of God,
And some a mutual friend.
I am a blacksmith, but the job’s
Not what it used to be;
Farmers don’t ride on nags or cobs,
But motor cars, you see.
I dream of how the time will come
When horses are back again;
Hoof-beats in place of motor hum –
I fear such dreams are vain !
I am a blacksmith, and I wait
To serve all with my strength;
And when I reach the heavenly gate
Where all must come at length,
I hope my fire has not grown dim
And I shall have the right
To enter in and hear from Him –
“You kept your fires bright !”
Weekly Times 22.3.63