A Blacksmith’s Tale

The Blacksmith rings out the changes
On his anvil, loud,
Accompanying each passing season,
Strong, steadfast and proud.

Forging at his hearth,
Labouring on the land,
Through earth, smoke and sparks,
His life is in his hands.

The Smithy squats, squarely,
Nestling into a hollow,
The track curves past,
Leading yesterday into tomorrow.

Generations of Smiths have worked this Forge,
Sweating cinders and beating iron,
Harrows for the farmer, shoes for the horse,
Mason’s tools and wheels for the wagon.

There’s mystery and magic in moulding these things
From hard metal, lifeless and cold,
Which, drawn from the fire, white hot, writhing form
Submits under hammer blows so bold.

Fading yellow, then red, as the sparks fly out,
The victory finale is near,
The serpent tamed, its wildness controlled,
A new shape begins to appear.

More fire, more heats, more forgings begun,
Till, all energy spent, the Blacksmith is done,
The duel is over, the contest is won,
But, next day, the battle goes on.

Only, the old Smiths have died,
Their memory fades,
Just headstones remind,
Under the church tower’s shade.

Rusty old tools, flung,
Sink back into the ground,
The tiled roof falls in,
A stony silence rings around.

On the brink of extinction,
The gods take a hand
Old Clem, Cole and Thor
Have another fate planned.

A new generation of Smiths are installed,
Who lovingly repair and restore,
In proud recognition of history, re-called,
The Forge is re-born, as before.

The walls reverberate to hammering again,
A clanging joyful song,
The bodies are different, the soul is the same,
To the Iron and Fire, we belong.

The elemental forces, conjoined in me
Invoke, through my privileged hands,
The power of creation, from the heart of our Earth,
Revered, through all time and all lands.

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