A Stone's throw from the market town,
Close on the lane that wanders down
Between tall trees and hedgerows green,
The famous shoeing forge is seen;
Open it stands upon the road,
That day and night is overflowed
By ruddy light that leaps and falls
Along the rafters and the walls.
And often, halting on his way,
The idler from the town will stay
To hear the sharp, clear, ringing sound,
And watch the red sparks raining round,
And the bright fiery metal glow,
While the strong smith, with blow on blow,
Hammers it into shape—a sight
To rouse his wonder and delight.
Now in the smouldering fire once more
The bar is thrust; the bellows roar,
And fan the flame to fiercer light,
Until the metal waxes white;
Then, on the anvil placed again,
Ding-dong, the strokes descend amain;
Strong is the arm, the vision true,
Of him who shapes the iron shoe.
For thee, O reader, is the thought
That great success in life is wrought
Not by the idler as he stands
With wondering looks and empty hands,
But by the toiler who can take
Each adverse circumstance and make
It bend beneath the force and fire
Of firm resolve and high desire!