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‘A Grand Thanksgiving Chorus’



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We search our hearts this Thanksgiving for what fills us with gratitude. Many among us suffer in myriad ways, families and friends are separated by pandemic restrictions, and we easily forget that just weeks ago we marveled at the colors of autumn that preceded the seasonal erasure of color from the New England landscape. There has been good amongst the tragic, more beauty than ugliness around us.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, a late 19th-early 20th Century poet best known for her lines, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone,” reminds us in this poem of gratitude that the worries of the world are not new, but ones that generations have struggled to overcome: and yet there are always, should we choose to look closely, many reasons to be thankful.

We offer you her poem for thought, and may your harvest baskets overflow with thankfulness. Even in 2020.


By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We walk on starry fields of white

And do not see the daisies;

For blessings common in our sight

We rarely offer praises.

We sigh for some supreme delight

To crown our lives with splendor,

And quite ignore our daily store

Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way

Upon our thought and feeling.

They hang about us all the day,

Our time from pleasure stealing.

So unobtrusive many a joy

We pass by and forget it,

But worry strives to own our lives

And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year

But holds some hidden pleasure,

And looking back, joys oft appear

To brim the past’s wide measure.

But blessings are like friends, I hold,

Who love and labor near us.

We ought to raise our notes of praise

While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise

Of worry or of trouble.

Farseeing is the soul and wise

Who knows the mask is double.

But he who has the faith and strength

To thank his God for sorrow

Has found a joy without alloy

To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes

Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;

The hours and days a silent phrase

Of music we are living.

And so the theme should swell and grow

As weeks and months pass o’er us,

And rise sublime at this good time,

A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

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