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Ashlar Home > Poems > John Clifford > The Anvil

The Anvil

By John Clifford

I paused last eve beside the blacksmith's door,
And heard the anvil ring, the vespers chime,
And looking in I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, with beating years of time.

How many anvils have you had? said I,
To wear and batter all these hammers so?
Just one, he answered. Then with twinkling eye:
The anvil wears the hammers out, you know,

And so, I thought, the anvil of God's Word
For ages sceptics' blows have beat upon
But though the noise of falling blows was heard
The anvil is unchanged the hammers gone.
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