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The Poets Forge

Written by: Helen Hunt Jackson | Biography
 | Quotes (3) |
 He lies on his back, the idling smith, 
A lazy, dreaming fellow is he; 
The sky is blue, or the sky is gray, 
He lies on his back the livelong day, 
Not a tool in sight, say what they may, 
A curious sort of smith is he. 

The powers of the air are in league with him; 
The country around believes it well; 
The wondering folk draw spying near; 
Never sight nor sound do they see or hear; 
No wonder they feel a little fear; 
When is it his work is done so well? 

Never sight nor sound to see or hear; 
The powers of the air are in league with him; 
High over his head his metals swing, 
Fine gold and silver to shame the king; 
We might distinguish their glittering, 
If once we could get in league with him. 

High over his head his metals swing; 
He hammers them idly year by year, 
Hammers and chuckles a low refrain: 
"A bench and a book are a ball and a chain, 
The adze is a better tool than the plane; 
What's the odds between now and next year?" 

Hammers and chuckles his low refrain, 
A lazy, dreaming fellow is he: 
When sudden, some day, his bells peal out, 
And men, at the sound, for gladness shout; 
He laughs and asks what it's all about; 
Oh, a curious sort of smith is he.



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