Friday, January 13, 2017

Sail on, O Ship of State



I just came across this old poem once familiar to me in high school years.  That was long before I developed a special interest in blacksmithing so I didn’t recall the several lines which refer to forge work.  It’s clear that Longfellow was familiar with the craft and held it in high regard.

The Building of the Ship

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! 
Sail on, O Union, strong and great! 
Humanity with all its fears, 
With all the hopes of future years, 
Is hanging breathless on thy fate! 
We know what Master laid thy keel, 
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, 
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, 
What anvils rang, what hammers beat, 
In what a forge and what a heat 
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope! 
Fear not each sudden sound and shock, 
'Tis of the wave and not the rock; 
'Tis but the flapping of the sail, 
And not a rent made by the gale! 
In spite of rock and tempest's roar, 
In spite of false lights on the shore, 
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea! 
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee. 
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, 
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears, 
Are all with thee, -are all with thee! 


The Village Blacksmith.

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I don't often check for blog comments, so the best way to contact me is directly: at ottercreeksmith@gmail.com or djedwards@cableone.net