Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807- 1882) was born in Portland, Maine, USA. He became a professor of modern languages at Harvard and travelled extensively in Europe, being the guest of Dickens in 1842.
Most of his writing was romantic prose and “The Village Blacksmith” idealises the image of the hard-workmg smithy at toil in a sleepy village. Two verses in particular are well illustrated on the jug:
Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands
And the children coming home from school
look in the open door
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floor
Featured on the base of the handle is a milestone with the poems title on one side and LONG-FELLOW 1842 on the reverse, the date of the poems publication in “Ballads and other poems”.