The War Blacksmith (after Longfellow)
Military Technology, Industry, Manufactories, War, Politics, Comparative Philology
Describes the efforts made by the mythological smith, Vulcan, to meet the relentless 'War-orders and demands' for 'breech-loaders, and armour-plates, / Steel-shot and chilled also'. Explains that Vulcan's assistant, the Cyclops, has left him, because he wishes to work at a more leisurely pace, so that he has been forced to work 'every day and all day long' making such items as 'Chassepots for the Emperor [Napoleon III of France]' and 'Sniders [Jacob Snider's converted muzzle-loaders] for John Bull'. Expresses pleasure at seeing the Emperor enjoy the 'shift of weights that trim the Powers / For Europe's equipoise' and discusses the ways in which the Emperor has taught the conflicting European nations that 'in the forge of War, / The arms of Peace are wrought'. He resigns himself to bestowing his 'toil and stock' to 'War's tasks' and pledges his obedience to the word of the Emperor, whom he thanks for his lessons about peace.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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