The Village Blacksmith
If you want to learn about the ethos of early 19th century America and the foundations that made this country great you need to look no further than this classic poem from the pen of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In it the smith is a strong, honest and "brawny" -- one who "owes not any man." The poem praises the work ethic and shares the sight of young children mesmerized by the power of the "flaming forge". The smith relies on love of his work and children for he is a widower; but in spite of the tear in his eyes he rejoices in each days' work, as we see in the penultimate stanza:
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.
Concluding with the vision that our fortunes are made by ourselves with "each burning deed and thought." This inspiring lyric is indeed a strong foundation for each individual American and the nation that they built.
The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow