He lies on his back, the idling smith, A lazy, dreaming fellow is he; The sky is blue, or the sky is gray, He lies on his back the livelong day, Not a tool in sight, say what they may, A curious sort of smith is he.
The powers of the air are in league with him; The country around believes it well; The wondering folk draw spying near; Never sight nor sound do they see or hear; No wonder they feel a little fear; When is it his work is done so well?
Never sight nor sound to see or hear; The powers of the air are in league with him; High over his head his metals swing, Fine gold and silver to shame the king; We might distinguish their glittering, If once we could get in league with him.
High over his head his metals swing; He hammers them idly year by year, Hammers and chuckles a low refrain: "A bench and a book are a ball and a chain, The adze is a better tool than the plane; What's the odds between now and next year?"
Hammers and chuckles his low refrain, A lazy, dreaming fellow is he: When sudden, some day, his bells peal out, And men, at the sound, for gladness shout; He laughs and asks what it's all about; Oh, a curious sort of smith is he.