The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
sinewy – muscular
bellows – wind-tunnels, chimneys
chaff – tease
threshing – beating
repose – sleep
Questions and Answers
1. How does the speaker feel about the village blacksmith?
The speaker holds the blacksmith in high esteem as a hard worker, faithful man, loving father, devoted husband, and worthy friend. He describes the blacksmith’s brow as “wet with honest sweat,” and that in addition to earning whatever he can, he “owes not any man.”
2. The third line of second stanza, “His brow is wet with honest sweat,” is an example of what poetic technique?
The line is an example of internal rhyme.
3. What, according to the speaker, do children love about the blacksmith?
The children are particularly fascinated by the “flaming forge,” hearing “the bellows roar,” and catching “the burning sparks” that fly from the fires he works with.
4. In stanzas five and six, what causes the blacksmith to think simultaneously of both his daughter and his wife?
In these stanzas, the speaker tells the reader that when the blacksmith attends church on Sunday, the voice of his daughter singing in the choir reminds him of his wife’s voice, who he believes is singing in heaven.
5. What is the lesson taught by the blacksmith?
The blacksmith has taught the speaker (and others) the value of hard work, passion, and dedication. Through his actions he has shown the ways to a successful life. Our lives, too, are shaped each day by “each burning deed and thought.”