A Thanksgiving Day in New England

O, bliss! where hearts are all aflame
With love far deeper than a name,
Where speech from hearts so sweetly slips,
In loving words and touch of lips,
Where rise and find a transient rest,
The noblest passion of the breast,
I fain would dwell if not for aye,
At least on each Thanksgiving day.
O, love! wherever love is found
In all this toilsome world around
In ache and woe and endless strife
Thou art the balm in human life,
That maketh possible to bear
Our mingled load of joy and care.
No lot can wholly cheerless be,
Dear love, when it is blessed by thee.
To-day I've watched glad hurrying feet,
Trip gaily homeward love to meet.
The father's hand, the mother's kiss,
Thanksgiving day, New England's bliss
Calls to the old paternal chair
The single youth, the married pair,
And blithe they go with winsome grace
To see again the old home-place.
The snow comes down in feathered flakes,
On noisy street and silent lakes,
Through window panes the fire lights glow
Upon the fallen spotless snow,
And snug within from cold and storm
Love's own are gathered safe and warm,
And from the scene is banished care,
And all is joy beyond compare.
The youngsters romp with boisterous stride,
The mothers with ill-concealed pride
Half scold in their indulgent way,
For more decorum in their play;
For this the youngsters feel no need
And scarcely pay their parents heed.
They make the old home ring wishout,
With gayety and childish shout.
And when they to the loaded board
Come with their patriarchal lord,
The grace is said and all the guests,
A second time and more are pressed.
To more of all the good things nice
With sauce and aromatic spice.
And gathered thus on this glad day
The time speeds happily away.
The old forget their years of pain,
Feel in their children young again,
Perchance some tears a smile displace
For some beloved absent face,
But all are met with one accord
To happy be and thank the Lord.
And joy from other things apart
Is uppermost in every heart.
But Oh! all homes are not so blest
With love and gathered family guest;
And, ye whom God doth favor give,
Think kindly of the poor who live
In tenements and never see
The comforts God hath given thee.

Ah! lonely hours pass away
For many on Thanksgiving day.
My homesick heart gives useless sighs
For love beneath my southern skies,
And feels that longing which must come,
To aliens far away from home.
But still I know while fades the light,
And daylight deepens into night,
Love travels fast and cometh nigh,
In answer to my own heart's sigh,
And so 'tis sweet though far apart —
When love doth answer heart to heart.

Last updated May 15, 2023