My favorite poet shows that Thanksgiving warms the heart the same as almost 200 years ago

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2013

John Greenleaf Whittier — Extracts from The Pumpkin ca. 1844

Ah! — on Thanksgiving Day, when from East and from West, From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,

When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board, The old broken links of affection restored,

When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more, And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,

What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye? What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin Pie?

When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune, Our chair a broad pumpkin — our lantern the moon,

Than thanks for thy present! — none sweeter or better, E’er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!

Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine, Brighter eyes never watched o’er it’s baking than thine!

And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express, Swells my heart that they shadow may never be less;

That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below, And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin vine grow,

And they life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin Pie!


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