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Thanksgiving
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Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day
Poems
Table of Contents

Landing of the Pilgrims

Forefather's Day
   

Thanksgiving

The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England

The New-England
Boy's Song About Thanksgiving Day
   

Thanksgiving

The Pilgrim Fathers
   

We Thank Thee 

At Grandma's
House
   

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day
   

Old Thanksgiving Rhyme

The End Of
Harvest
   

A Thanksgiving to God for His House

We Thank Thee
   

The ABCs of Thanksgiving
 





Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.
— Estonian proverb

 

Landing of the Pilgrims
Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793-1835) English Poet


The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches tossed;

And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles, moored their bark
On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true hearted, came, —
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;

Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear:
They shook the depths of the desert's gloom
With their mynm of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storms they sang;
And the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.


The ocean eagle soared
From his next by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roared:
This was their welcome home !

There were men with hoary hair
Amidst the pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?

There was a woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war? —
They sought a faith's pure shine.

Ay, call it holy ground, —
The soil where first they trod!
They have left unstained what there they found,
Freedom to worship God!


Vocabulary:  aisles = church passages; anthem = sacred hymn; cheer = state of feeling;
fiery - ardent; hoary = white with age; moor = made fast; serenely = calmly;
shrine = altar/sacred place; stern = barren, desolate; wither = grow old

 

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FOREFATHER'S DAY
Edgar Guest
PDF File Worksheet


Look back three hundred years and more:
A group upon a rock-bound shore,
Borne by the Mayflower o'er the sea,
Pledged hearts and lives to liberty.

They were the few we hail with pride
Singing:  "Land where our fathers died,"
Daring to die that this might be
Forever:  "Land of the noble free."

At Plymouth Rock they could not know
How far their shadows then would go,
That freedom (as today we sing)
From every mountainside should ring.

"Our Fathers' God to Thee" I pray
That we, devoted as were they,
Who sing:  "Long may our land be bright"
Shall cherish:  "Freedom's holy light."

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Thanksgiving
by Edgar Guest


Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,
An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;
An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they
Are growin more beautiful day after day;
Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,
Buildin' the old family circle again;
Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin' our stories as women an men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.
Home from the east land an' home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,
Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

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The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
Edgar Guest


It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.

It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me today
We're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.
It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.

I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in
With shouts of "Hello, daddy!" as they fairly stormed the place
And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face
Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,
Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.

Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;
From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;
All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,
The struggles we were making and the hardships we'd gone through;
We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly—
It seemed before we'd settled down 'twas time to say good-bye.
Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true.

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The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers
in New England

Felicia Dorothea Hemans
(1793-1835)


"Look now abroad--another race has fill'd
Those populous borders--wide the wood recedes,
And town shoots up, and fertile realms are till'd;
The land is full of harvests and green meads."
—BRYANT

The breaking waves dash'd high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches toss'd;

And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moor'd their bark
On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;

Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;—
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea:
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free!

The ocean eagle soar'd
From his nest by the white wave's foam
And the rocking pines of the forest roar'd—
This was their welcome home!

There were men with hoary hair
Amidst that pilgrim band:  —
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?

There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?—
They sought a faith's pure shrine!

Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trode.
They have left unstained, what there they found—
Freedom to worship God.

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The New-England Boy's Song
about Thanksgiving Day

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)


Over the river, and through the wood,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way,
To carry the sleigh,
Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To grandfather's house away!
We would not stop
For doll or top,
For 't is Thanksgiving day.

Over the river, and through the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
With a clear blue winter sky,
The dogs do bark,
And children hark,
As we go jingling by.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play —
Hear the bells ring
Ting a ling ding,
Hurra for Thanksgiving day!

Over the river, and through the wood —
No matter for winds that blow;
Or if we get
The sleigh upset,
Into a bank of snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To see little John and Ann;
We will kiss them all,
And play snowball,
And stay as long as we can.

Over the river, and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple grey!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound,
For 't is Thanksgiving day!

Over the river, and through the wood,
And straight through the barn-yard gate;
We seem to go
Extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait.

Over the river, and through the wood,
Old Jowler hears our bells;
He shakes his pow,
With a loud bow wow,
And thus the news he tells.

Over the river, and through the wood —
When grandmother sees us come,
She will say, Oh dear,
The children are here,
Bring a pie for every one.

Over the river, and through the wood —
Now grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurra for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurra for the pumpkin pie!

pow = head

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Thanksgiving
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


WE walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hang about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives
And conquers if we let it.

There's not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past's wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We out to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble.
Farseeing is the soul and wise
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o'er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

 

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The Pilgrim Fathers
John Pierpoint


THE pilgrim fathers—where are they?
The waves that brought them o'er
Still roll in the bay, and throw their spray
As they break along the shore:
Still roll in the bay, as they roll'd that day,
When the May Flower moor'd below,
When the sea around was black with storms,
And white was the shore with snow.

The mists, that wrapp'd the pilgrim's sleep,
Still brood upon the tide;
And his rocks yet keep their watch by the deep,
To stay its waves of pride.
But the snow-white sail, that he gave to the gale,
When the heavens look'd dark, is gone;—
As an angel's wing, through an opening cloud,
Is seen, and then withdrawn.

The pilgrim exile—sainted name!—
The hill, whose icy brow
Rejoiced, when he came, in the morning's flame,
In the morning's flame burns now.
And the moon's cold light, as it lay that night
On the hillside and the sea,
Still lies where he laid his houseless head;—
But the pilgrim, where is he?

The pilgrim fathers are at rest:
When Summer's throned on high,
And the world's warm breast is in verdure dress'd,
Go, stand on the hill where they lie.
The earliest ray of the golden day
On that hallowed sport is cast;
And the evening sun, as he leaves the world,
Looks kindly on that spot last.

The pilgrim spirit has not fled:
It walks in noon's broad light;
And it watches the bed of the glorious dead,
With the holy stars, by night.
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled,
And shall guard this icebound shore,
Till the waves of the bay, where the May Flower lay,
Shall foam and freeze no more.

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We Thank Thee


For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass, so fress and sweet,
For song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see, —
   Father in Heaven, we thank Thee !

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty in the blooming trees, —
   Father in Heaven, we thank Thee !

For mother-love and father-care,
For brothers strong and sisters fair,
For love at home and here each day,
For guidance, lest we go astray,
   Father in Heaven, we thank Thee !

For this new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
   Father in Heaven, we thank Thee !

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At Grandma's House
— Author Unknown —


I like the taste of turkey
Any time throughout the year
But it never
seems to taste as good
As when Thanksgiving's here.

Could be it's all the trimmings
That are cooked with it to eat-
But I think it's
eating at Grandma's house
That makes it such a treat!

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Giving Thanks
— Author Unknown —


For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home —
      Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought —
      Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" —
      Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving!

 

 

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Thanksgiving Day
— Emily Dickinson —


One day is there of the series
Termed Thanksgiving day,
Celebrated part at table,
Part in memory.

Neither patriarch nor pussy,
I dissect the play;
Seems it, to my hooded thinking,
Reflex holiday.

Had there been no sharp subtraction
From the early sum,
Not an acre or a caption
Where was once a room,

Not a mention, whose small pebble
Wrinkled any bay,—
Unto such, were such assembly,
'T were Thanksgiving day.


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Old Thanksgiving Rhyme

The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway —
Thanksgiving comes again!

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The End Of Harvest
Thomas Tusser


COME home, lord
*, singing,
Come home, corn bringing.
'Tis merry in hall,
Where beards wag all.
Once had thy desire,
Pay workman his hire:
Let none be beguil'd,
Man, woman, nor child.
Thank God ye shall,
And adieu for all.

*"Harvest Lord" or foreman

 

 

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A Thanksgiving to God for His House
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick


GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And the same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry;
For, having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

 

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

 

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We Thank Thee ...
Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank Thee for this place in which we dwell;
for the love that unites us;
for the peace accorded us this day;
for the hope with which we expect the morrow;
for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies,
that make our lives delightful;
and for our friends in all parts of the earth.
Let peace abound in our small company.

Purge out of every heart the lurking grudge.
Give us grace and strength to forbear and to persevere.
Give us the grace to accept and to forgive offenders.
Forgetful ourselves, help us to bear cheerfully the forgetfulness of others.
Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind.
Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies.

Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors.
If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come,
that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath,
and in all changes of fortune, and, down to the gates of death,
   loyal and loving one to another.

 

"I AM Too blessed to be stressed!"

 

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The ABCs of Thanksgiving

A
lthough things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there'll be good times & yes some will be bad, but ...
Zion waits in glory ... where none are ever sad!

 

The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.

 

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