In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Village Blacksmith,” the speaker uses many details to describe the sights and sounds of the blacksmith at work. For instance, recall what he says in the third stanza. He writes that the blacksmith works every day from morning until evening:
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.
Here the speaker explains that the sounds of this blacksmith using his tools is loud and steady. The description of the slow, measured beat suggests that there is a rhythmic, almost musical, quality to the sounds. The use of the alliteration “bellows blow” also emphasizes that the sounds of the blacksmith's work are loud and deep. At the end of this stanza, the speaker compares the sound of this blacksmith at work to a “sexton ringing the village bell.” A sexton is a person who takes care of a church and is responsible for duties like ringing the bell that calls people to worship. In comparing the sounds of the blacksmith’s work to the sounds of the sexton ringing the bell, the speaker suggests that the blacksmith's work is an important part of this community.
In the next stanza, the speaker again mentions how the bellows of the blacksmith’s work “roar.” This description compares the sounds of the blacksmith's work to the sounds of a big, strong animal like a lion. This comparison emphasizes how powerful the blacksmith is and reminds the reader of how much strength is required to do such tough work.