Poem by the Swedish writer
Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1864-1931)
The rhyme smith
Now, coarsely wrought iron from my thoughts’ own smithy,
my sledge shall test the utmost you can bear.
I know your chain’s links snap, that this is risky,
but likewise know there’s honest steel in there.
From my home mine and slash-burnt acres’ clamour
I gained my iron and charcoal for the fire,
I gripped – as once each sweetheart’s waist – my hammer
and fanned my forge’s flames with keen desire.
How bright the anvil’s song when dusk was swelling,
in evening coolness when my youth’s sun set!
The clanging, how it spread! From farm and dwelling
with chiming youthful voices it was met.
But out of sight, alone, hard iron unfurling,
toiled with great zest the half-apprenticed bard
and smiled at all the hot flakes round him whirling,
though many a spark his pitted skin still scarred.