Bine the Blacksmith

“The poem about Bine referred to a blacksmith named Bine Spaulding, who lived and had a shop where the first house in Martinsville now stands. [The brick house on the corner is the old Lamb school. The next house is newer and the one referred to here is the next, red house, right next to Lull Brook where Ruth and Roger Flanagan lived for so many years. C.Y.M.]. He and his wife occupied an upper room reached by a ladder, and when he came home in a rather unsteady condition she would say sternly, “Right up the ladder, Mr. Spaulding”.  Enjoy!

Did you know about Bine, with the speckled dog?
Used to lead him by the for’ard paw;
Was a portly man with a baldish head,
And the bluest eye you ever saw.

Way under the hill he had a shop,
With a trip hammer and it’s paddle wheel,
And its whack, whack, whack, and the stooping smith-
I can see him yet; I can hear it still.

He came to the village every night.
There were kindred spirits always there.
The journey up was a tiresome walk;
The going back was another affair.

One night we sat around the fire;
The smaller ones were snug in bed;
Aunt Rosaline rushed in through the door,
And”Bine’s in the brook ” was all she said.

My! What a rumpus was abroad!
Sure, in the brook was where we found him,
Straight as a gun rod sitting up,
With the rushing waters all around him.

“The water’s risin’! Lower a rope!”
That was the cry, more agonizing
With every breath of the summer air.
“Lower a rope! The water’s risin’”

The action of that pretty brook
Took out the sand beneath his quarter,
And every wave that kissed his side
Left him a-struggling in the water.

Next morning in that little shop-
Since many years the grasses cover-
The anvil rang, the bellows breathed,
The mill-wheel flew; The farce was over.

Wilbur Sturtevant

Reprinted from the March 2007 Hartland Historical Society Newsletter.

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