Thursday, November 22, 2012

Poem: Thanksgiving Day

By James J. Montague
(American, 1873-1941)

With steadfast and unwavering faith, with hard and patient toil,
The Pilgrims wrung their harvest from a strange and sterile soil.
And when the leaves turned red and gold beneath the autumn sun,
They knelt beside the scanty sheaves their laboring hands had won,
And each grave elder, in his turn, with bowed and reverent head,
Gave thanks to bounteous Heaven for the miracle of bread.

And so was born Thanksgiving Day. That little dauntless band –
Beset by deadly perils in a wild and alien land,
With hearts that held no fear of death, with stern unbending wills,
And faith as firmly founded as the grim New England hills,
Though pitiful the yield that sprang from that unfruitful sod –
Remembered in their harvest time the goodly grace of God.

God grant us grace to look on this, our glorious native land,
As but another princely gift from His almighty hand.
May we prove worthy of His trust and keep its every shore
Protected from the murderous hordes that bear the torch of war;
And be the future bright or dark, God grant we never may
Forget the reverent spirit of the first Thanksgiving Day.