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Village Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Village May-Day by J. R. Eastwood
  2. The Village Wedding by J. R. Eastwood
  3. The Village Blacksmith by Anna Marie Neis
  4. The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  5. The Village Bells by Eugene J. Hall
  6. The Village Book-keeper by Mart Taylor
  7. The Village of Scheveningen by Charles Swain
  8. A Highland Village by Mathilde Blind
  9. The Happy Village by Kane O'Donnell
  10. The Old Country Store by Ed Blair
  11. The Family Doctor by Edgar A. Guest
  12. The Milkman by Christopher Morley
  13. The Shoemaker by Evander A. Crewson
  14. The Country Schoolhouse by Edwin L. Sabin
  15. Song of the School Bell by John Edward Everett
  16. Old Wooden Church in the Grove by John B. Ketchum

  1. The Village May-Day

    by J. R. Eastwood

    Piled up with sacks, to yonder town
    The great mill waggon lumbers down:
    Drawn by three horses, tall and strong,
    The great mill waggon rolls along.

    The miller's smock is clean and new,
    And smart with ribbons, red and blue;
    And tinkling bells on bridle rein
    Have made the stately horses vain.

    And every year the First of May
    Is made the village holiday:
    The school is closed: the children run
    In meadows smiling with the sun.

    And now before the mill they wait,
    While some, impatient, climb the gate,
    And shout with glee, when drawing near
    The loudly rumbling wheels they hear.

    And soon the horses loom in sight,
    With gay rosettes, and harness bright,
    While dose beside the leader's head,
    The miller walks with sturdy tread.

    Long may the festive day come round
    And find the miller hale and sound,
    And may his goods increase, and still
    The great wheel turn his busy mill.

  2. The Village Wedding

    by J. R. Eastwood

    The weeks and months, with long delay,
    Have brought at last the wedding day;
    And pealing bells, with merry din,
    The joyful morn have ushered in!

    And now the church begins to fill;
    And all are seated, pleased and still,
    While matron looks rebuke the boys
    Who move their feet with shuffling noise.

    And village girls, with whispered talk,
    And smiling lips, have lined the walk,
    And ready stand, on either side,
    To scatter flowers before the bride.

    And soon she comes, with modest grace,
    The bridegroom waiting in his place;
    The ring is on, the words are said,
    They kneel to pray, and they are wed.

  3. The Village Blacksmith

    by Anna Marie Neis

    Ho! the village blacksmith,
    All the live-long day,
    The ringing of his anvil,
    Wears many hours away.

    How manfully he lifts his arm,
    And strikes the heavy blow,
    The hammer beating perfect time,
    As he swings it to and fro.

    Listen to the anvil!
    The sound is very dear,
    As across the little park,
    It rings out loud and clear.

    'Tis the only chiming sound,
    That keeps the village stirring,
    For in the quiet little town,
    There's nothing much occurring.

    On a bright and sunny morning,
    When the sky is blue,
    And the grass is fresh and green,
    And slightly wet with dew.

    The farmer boy may be seen
    Coming from afar,
    With horse to shoe, wagon to fix,
    And to get a box of tar.

    Then a little chit-chat
    In a loud and jolly tone,
    The farmer boy hooks up his horse,
    And hurries on toward home.

    No sooner is he out of sight,
    Than others come and go,
    Thus keeping the village blacksmith's shop
    In a continual glow.

    The smith is known for many a mile,
    And greatly esteemed it appears,
    For he has been the village smith
    For five and twenty years.

    But things will change as time goes on
    And cause us deep despair,
    For in the little village shop,
    The smith is no more there.

    For sickness came as it will to all
    Midst pleasure and midst mirth,
    And sad to say in three short days
    He departed from this earth.

    The shock is great to all around,
    Even those who knew him not,
    His death casts a shadow,
    Which will not be soon forgot.

    In the quiet little churchyard
    The smith was laid low,
    Where the green grass and the flowers,
    Will soon begin to grow.

    The birds will sing their songs
    In the bright and genial days,
    Near the lonely grave where
    The village blacksmith lays.

  4. The Village Blacksmith

    His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate'er he can,
    And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.

    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    The Village Blacksmith
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Under a spreading chestnut-tree
    The village smithy stands;
    The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.

    His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
    His face is like the tan;
    His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate'er he can,
    And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.

    Week in, week out, from morn till night,
    You can hear his bellows blow;
    You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
    With measured beat and slow,
    Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
    When the evening sun is low.

    And children coming home from school
    Look in at the open door;
    They love to see the flaming forge,
    And hear the bellows roar,
    And catch the burning sparks that fly
    Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

    He goes on Sunday to the church,
    And sits among his boys;
    He hears the parson pray and preach,
    He hears his daughter's voice,
    Singing in the village choir,
    And it makes his heart rejoice.

    It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
    Singing in Paradise!
    He needs must think of her once more,
    How in the grave she lies;
    And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
    A tear out of his eyes.

    Onward through life he goes;
    Each morning sees some task begin,
    Each evening sees it close
    Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night's repose.

    Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
    For the lesson thou hast taught!
    Thus at the flaming forge of life
    Our fortunes must be wrought;
    Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
    Each burning deed and thought.

  5. The Village Bells

    by Eugene J. Hall

    Once more, once more, my native shore
    In beauty greets my gaze:
    Again I walk the cottage floor,
    To dream of bygone days.
    The leaves are bright with silver light,
    And through the evening air
    Once more I hear the village bells,
    That sound the hour of prayer.
    Tolling, rolling,
    Twanging, clanging,
    At the close of day;
    O'er hill and hollow sounding,
    From rock to rock rebounding,
    Their echoes die away.

    O cheerful chimes of better times!
    I'm growing old and gray,
    My feet, through other lands and climes,
    Have wandered far away;
    I gladly hear your carols clear
    In many a joyous strain;
    You come like music to my ear
    To greet me home again.
    Tolling, rolling,
    Twanging, clanging,
    At the close of day;
    O'er hill and hollow sounding,
    From rock to rock rebounding,
    Your echoes die away.

  6. The Village Book-keeper

    by Mart Taylor

    Cubanus Root was reckoned skilled
    In mathematic lore;
    A high position, 2, he filled—
    Accountant in a store.
    His principal was pleased to see
    Progression in his clerk,
    And that he took, from principle,
    An interest in his work.

    Whene'er a dance or ball came off,
    Cube Root was always sought;
    But, liking not such foolish things,
    Cube set them down 4 n 0.
    Sometimes, from miscellaneous jobs,
    An evening to beguile,
    He'd call on Miss Cellana Snobs,
    And chat with her awhile.

    Her figure pleased him well, you see,
    For she was fortune 8
    In having many graces which
    He could not numerate;
    And in addition unto these,
    She had no small amount
    Of knowledge, which the book-keeper
    Took into the account.

    Content with Miss Cellana's love,
    Cube felt extremely blest,
    And oft alleged he didn't care
    A fraction for the rest.
    So to a Justice he applied,
    Who, when the job was done,
    Had figured out that two fond hearts
    Amounted but 2 1.

    Cube's old employer, growing rich,
    Through his book keeper's aid,
    Made a "division" in the stock,
    And set him up in trade,
    By wealth and love thus 40-fied,
    Ere long their sum of joy
    In life was fairly multiplied—
    They had a lovely boy.

    The rule that Cube had followed long,
    Adopted still the same—
    Never to make a figure wrong,
    The "rule of three" became.
    'Till now, this happy family
    Has wealth and high renown,
    And Cube, the clerk has lived to be
    The Squire Root of the town.

  7. The Village of Scheveningen

    by Charles Swain

    A startling sound by night was heard,
    From the Scheveningen coast;
    Like vultures in their clamorous flight,
    Or the trampling of a host.

    It broke the sleepers’ heavy rest,
    With harsh and threatening cry;
    Storm was upon the lonely sea!
    Storm on the midnight sky!

    The slumberers started up from sleep,
    Like spectres from their graves;
    Then—burst a hundred voices forth:
    “The waves!—the waves!—the waves!”

    The strong-built dikes lay overthrown:
    And on their deadly way,
    Like lions, came the mighty seas,
    Impatient for their prey!

    Like lions came the mighty seas,—
    O, vision of despair!—
    Mid ruins of their falling homes,
    The blackness of the air.

    Jesu! it was a fearful hour!
    The elemental strife,
    Howling above the shrieks of death,—
    The struggling groans for life!

    Fathers beheld the hastening doom
    With stern, delirious eye;
    Wildly they looked around for help,—
    No help, alas! was nigh.

    Mothers stood trembling with their babes,
    Uttering complaints, in vain;
    No arm but the Almighty arm
    Might stem that dreadful main!

    No mercy, no relapse, no hope,—
    That night the tempest-tost
    Saw their paternal homes engulfed,—
    Lost! O, forever lost!

    Again the blessed morning light
    In the far heavens shone;
    But where the pleasant village stood,
    Swept the dark floods alone!

  8. A Highland Village

    by Mathilde Blind

    Clear shining after the rain,
    The sun bursts the clouds asunder,
    And the hollow-rumbling thunder
    Groans like a loaded wain
    As, deep in the Grampians yonder,
    He grumbles now and again.

    Whenever the breezes shiver
    The leaves where the rain-drops quiver,
    Each bough and bush and brier
    Breaks into living fire,
    Till every tree is bright
    With blossom bursts of light.

    From golden roof and spout
    Brown waters gurgle and splutter,
    And rush down the flooded gutter
    Where the village children shout,
    As barefoot they splash in and out
    The water with tireless patter.

    The bald little Highland street
    Is all alive and a-glitter;
    The air blows keen and sweet
    From the field where the swallows twitter;
    Old wives on the doorsteps meet,
    At the corner the young maids titter.

    And the reapers hasten again,
    Ere quite the daylight wane
    To shake out the barley sheaves;
    While through the twinkling leaves
    The harvest moon upheaves
    Clear shining after the rain.

  9. The Happy Village

    by Kane O'Donnell

    As often I pass the roadside,
    When wearily falls the day,
    I turn to look from the hill-top
    At the mountains far away.

    The red sun through the forests
    Throws hither his parting beams,
    And far in the quiet valley
    The happy village gleams.

    There the lamp is lit in the cottage
    As the husbandman's labors cease,
    And I think that all things are gathered
    And folded in twilight peace.

    But the sound of merry voices
    Is heard in the village street,
    While pleased the grandame watches
    The play of the little feet.

    And at night to many a fireside
    The rosy children come:
    To tales of the bright-eyed fairies
    They listen and are dumb.

    There seems it a joy forever
    To labor and to learn,
    For love, with an eye of magic,
    Is patient to discern.

    And the father blesses the mother,
    And the children bless the sire,
    And the cheer and joy of the hearthstone
    Is as light from an altar fire.

    Oh, flowers of rarest beauty
    In that green valley grow!
    And whether 'twere earth or heaven,
    Why shouldst thou care to know?

    Save that thy brow is troubled,
    And dim is thy helpmate's eye,
    And graves are green in the valley,
    And the stars are bright in the sky.

  10. The Old Country Store

    by Ed Blair

    Oh, the old country store with the candy jars in it,
    And the bag of green coffee that sat by the door;
    The barrel of sorghum with plug driven in it,
    That leaked every hour a few drops on the floor.
    The barrel of crackers with cover beside it,
    The cheese, where a patron could pilfer a bite.
    The jugs and the jars with the straw in between them,
    When I was a boy 'twas a source of delight.

    Piled up on the counter, the "hickory shirting"—
    A stripe and a plaid for the patrons to choose.
    Some featherproof ticking, some ducking for "breeches,"
    Some calicos, ginghams, a few pairs of shoes,
    A barrel of kraut never spoiled in the making,
    How good it did taste when I tiptoed a wee,
    And the "gingersnap cookies" that came in the boxes,
    What a treat to have one of them given to me.

    The old country store, what a charm to the youngster
    The hogshead of sugar (sometimes mixed with sand),
    And if I was there when the "store man" was opening,
    A lump of its sweetness was placed in my hand.
    The coffee pots stood in a row on the shelving,
    The old iron boilers and tubs down below,
    A can of gunpowder and shot for the hunters
    And the "waterproof" caps that ofttimes wouldn't go.

    Oh, the old country store, what a joy there to visit
    With postoffice boxes, 'mong cobwebs galore,
    That gave us the letters and papers on Monday,
    That rode in the mails for a fortnight or more.
    Oh, never a city with street cars and bridges
    And viaducts, factories—yea, all of these,
    Can e'er beat the store at the cross roads on Cow creek
    Where first I bought candy and crackers and cheese.

  11. The Family Doctor

    by Edgar A. Guest

    I've tried the high-toned specialists, who doctor folks to-day;
    I've heard the throat man whisper low "Come on now let us spray";
    I've sat in fancy offices and waited long my turn,
    And paid for fifteen minutes what it took a week to earn;
    But while these scientific men are kindly, one and all,
    I miss the good old doctor that my mother used to call.

    The old-time family doctor! Oh, I am sorry that he's gone,
    He ushered us into the world and knew us every one;
    He didn't have to ask a lot of questions, for he knew
    Our histories from birth and all the ailments we'd been through.
    And though as children small we feared the medicines he'd send,
    The old-time family doctor grew to be our dearest friend.

    No hour too late, no night too rough for him to heed our call;
    He knew exactly where to hang his coat up in the hall;
    He knew exactly where to go, which room upstairs to find
    The patient he'd been called to see, and saying: "Never mind,
    I'll run up there myself and see what's causing all the fuss."
    It seems we grew to look and lean on him as one of us.

    He had a big and kindly heart, a fine and tender way,
    And more than once I've wished that I could call him in to-day.
    The specialists are clever men and busy men, I know,
    And haven't time to doctor as they did long years ago;
    But some day he may come again, the friend that we can call,
    The good old family doctor who will love us one and all.

  12. The Milkman

    by Christopher Morley

    Early in the morning, when the dawn is on the roofs,
    You hear his wheels come rolling, you hear his horse's hoofs;
    You hear the bottles clinking, and then he drives away:
    You yawn in bed, turn over, and begin another day!

    The old-time dairy maids are dear to every poet's heart—
    I'd rather be the dairy man and drive a little cart,
    And bustle round the village in the early morning blue,
    And hang my reins upon a hook, as I've seen Casey do.

  13. The Shoemaker

    by Evander A. Crewson

    The shoemaker sat on his bench of leather
    Pegging away on a half-worn shoe;
    Whatever the times or state of the weather,
    He pegged away, the whole day through.

    Sometimes he'd whistle, sometimes he'd sing;
    He cut his patch to fit the hole,
    And he always had some one on the "string,"
    While hammering down another man's "sole."

    Some said his leather was "tan-barked" and old;
    Some said his calf was poorly "revealed,"
    Others said the shoemaker was only "half-souled,"
    Others said he was mighty well "heeled."

    Each trade that he made brought him some "boot,"
    No happier man could well be born;
    Though even the farmer he failed to suit,
    He always had a share in his "corn."

    Though people at him would "bristle" and "wax,"
    And "button-hook" him as he passed,
    Still they finally paid the shoemaker's "tacks,"
    For he got them down at the "last."

  14. The Country Schoolhouse

    by Edwin L. Sabin

    The little country schoolhouse—you
    Remember it; of course you do!
    Within the angle snugly set,
    Where two long yellow highways met,
    And saplings planted here and there
    About the yard, and boxed with care
    As if to typify, in turn,
    The youngsters caught and caged, to learn.

    Around, the rolling pastures spread,
    With woodland patches garlanded,
    From which the breezes gladly bore
    Sly invitations to the door.
    Across the sills the bees' soft hum
    Was mingled with the muttered sum,
    And from their covert in the vale
    In plaintive pleading piped the quail.

    With basket and with pail equipped,
    Clear-eyed, tan-cheeked and berry-lipped,
    Athwart the pastures, down the road,
    They trudged to learning's poor abode;
    The pink sunbonnet, broad-brimmed straw;
    The bare brown feet that knew no law
    Of fashion's last; the bundled forms
    That laughed aloud at cold and storms.

    What tales the scarred desks might relate
    Of triumphs gained with book and slate!
    What lore the clapboards loose possess
    Of feats at noontime and recess!
    And doomed how oft the panes to see,
    Back up the road, and o'er the lea,
    Haste boy and girl, new worlds to find,
    The little schoolhouse left behind.

    O little country school! In vain
    May critics hold you in disdain.
    The greatest lessons that you taught
    Were not by chalk and pencil wrought.
    As oped your door on fields and sky,
    So, likewise just as wide and high,
    You opened to the eyes of youth
    The principles of love and truth.

  15. Song of the School Bell

    by John Edward Everett

    Kind neighbors, you and I are friends.
    And toiling for the selfsame ends,
    To help the children wiser grow,
    And teach them what they ought to know.

    Day after day, the winter through,
    I guard your sons and daughters true.
    Each day at nine I say, "hello",
    To the youthful world of joy and woe.
    Each day at nine are loudly sung
    Clear greetings from my iron tongue,
    While children rush with romp and race,
    As though to meet my fond embrace.
    Then through the hours they ply the mind
    To see what knowledge they may find—
    Sometimes with smile and radiant eye,
    Sometimes with frown and inward sigh.
    'Tis now with bright, now downcast, looks
    They bend their heads above their books.

    Kind neighbors, you and I are friends.
    And toiling for the selfsame ends,—
    To help the children wiser grow,
    And teach them what they ought to know.

  16. Old Wooden Church in the Grove

    by John B. Ketchum

    A song for the old wooden church in the grove,
    And that hour of hallowed repose,
    When the Spirit comes down within the old walls,
    In the hush of the Sabbath-day's close;
    When the sun sinks low in the far distant west
    And the shadows of night are falling,
    As the calm of the even steals over all,
    And the bell is lovingly calling.

    In fancy I sit in the pew by the wall,
    And my spirit is pensive and grieves;—
    And I hear the low prayers that trembled and rose
    As the summer-wind sang thro' the eaves:—
    I hear the same voices that chanted in tune
    In the days of the long, long ago,
    Yet singing those hymns as the eve closes in,
    And the music comes sweetly and low.

    Though absent and distant an exile I roam,
    I will think of those hours and the time,
    And memory keep green the little, old church,
    And preserve it in story and rhyme:—
    Let them bury me where the tones of the bell,
    There my spirit forever will move,
    Where the voice of the worshiper riseth in praise,
    From the old wooden church in the grove.

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