The Blacksmith’s Song


(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