The Iron Forge: Joseph Wright of Derby, 1772 (Broadlands Collection)
Felix Randal the farrier, O he is dead then? my duty all ended,
Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome
Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and some
Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?
Sickness broke him. Impatient he cursed at first, but mended
Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier heart began some
Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom
Tendered to him. Ah well, God rest him all road ever he offended!
This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears.
My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched thy tears,
Thy tears that touched my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Randal;
How far from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years,
When thou at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers,
Didst fettle for the great grey drayhorse his bright and battering sandal!
Young blacksmith: Heinrich Seufferfeld (1866-1940), from H. T. Musper: Heinrich Seufferfeld: Das radierte Werk, 1941 (image by Rosenzweig, 1 January 2011)
La Forja (The Forge): Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, c. 1819 (Frick Collection, New York)
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889): Felix Randal (written 28 April 1880, first published 1918)