Under the 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. . . . He earns whate'er he can, And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man. . . . Toiling,-rejoicing,-sorrowing, 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.
Alas! it is not till time, with reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human Life to light the fires of passion with from day to day, that man begins to see that the leaves which remain are few in number.