Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is not a typical poem one would hear at a Thanksgiving blessing, I think.  But in choosing a poem to feature for this day, all I could think of was the "And I am glad" words of Edward Roland Sill.  Since this is a day to cast a look back at the graces of the previous year, it is appropriate to think about what we will be grateful for at the end of our days.

Edward Roland Sill

What am I glad will stay when I have passed
From this dear valley of the world, and stand
On yon snow-glimmering peaks, and lingering cast
From that dim land
A backward look, and haply stretch my hand,
Regretful, now the wish comes true at last?
Sweet strains of music I am glad will be
Still wandering down the wind, for men will hear
And think themselves from all their care set free,
And heaven near
When summer stars burn very still and clear,
And waves of sound are swelling like the sea.
And it is good to know that overhead
Blue skies will brighten, and the sun will shine,
And flowers be sweet in many a garden bed,
And all divine
(For are they not, O Father, thoughts of thine?)
Earth's warmth and fragrance shall on men be shed.
And I am glad that Night will always come,
Hushing all sounds, even the soft-voiced birds,
Putting away all light from her deep dome,
Until are heard
In the wide starlight's stillness, unknown words,
That make the heart ache till it find its home.
And I am glad that neither golden sky,
Nor violet lights that linger on the hill,
Nor ocean's wistful blue shall satisfy,
But they shall fill
With wild unrest and endless longing still
The soul whose hope beyond them all must lie.
And I rejoice that love shall never seem
So perfect as it ever was to be,
But endlessly that inner haunting dream
Each heart shall see
Hinted in every dawn's fresh purity,
Hopelessly shadowed in each sunset's gleam.
And though warm mouths will kiss and hands will cling,
And thought by silent thought be understood,
I do rejoice that the next hour will bring
That far-off mood,
That drives one like a lonely child to God,
Who only sees and measures everything.

And it is well that when these feet have pressed
The outward path from earth, 't will not seem sad
To them to stay; but they who love me best
Will be most glad
That such a long unquiet now has had,
At last, a gift of perfect peace and rest.

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