Thursday, November 23, 2017

Poems on Thanksgiving


Thou that dost save through pain,
     And dost, afflicting, bless,
We offer Thee from prostrate hearts
     The Greater Thankfulness!
Lord, Thou hast humbled pride—
     Hast shown the world at length
What ruthlessness may dwell with Power,
     What bankruptcy with Strength;
And teaching us the scorn
     Of trifles that beguile,
Hast given us, dear God, to live
     When life is most worth while!
We thank Thee for the dream
     That heroes dreamed of yore,
For the desire of good, the will
     Earth's freedom to restore;
Spoiled children of the Past,
     To-day, more nobly blest,
We thank Thee who hast wakened us,
     And asked of us our best!
God of the young and brave
     Who nothing know of fear,
Who hold the things that life outlast
     Than life itself more dear,
We thank Thee that our souls
     Are strong as theirs to give—
All, all we cherish most on earth,
     That Liberty may live!
That we, O Good supreme!
     Still through our tears can see
On the brow of Death an aureole
     Of Immortality!
"Giving Thanks" by Florence Earle Coates, as published in The Unitarian Ledger (27 December 1917. Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger.


NOW gracious plenty rules the board,
     And in the purse is gold;
By multitudes in glad accord
     Thy giving is extolled.
Ah, suffer me to thank Thee, Lord,
     For what thou dost withhold!
I thank Thee that howe'er we climb
     There yet is something higher;
That though through all our reach of time
     We to the stars aspire,
Still, still beyond us burns sublime
     The pure sidereal fire!
I thank Thee for the unexplained,
     The hope that lies before,
The victory that is not gained,—
     O Father, more and more
I thank Thee for the unattained,
     The good we hunger for!
I thank Thee for the voice that sings
     To inner depths of being;
For all the spread and sweep of wings,
     From earthly bondage freeing;
For mystery—the dream of things
     Beyond our power of seeing!
"Thanksgiving" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Scribner's Magazine (November 1905), Lyrics of Life and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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