Thursday, November 25, 2010

On Thanksgiving Day.

It has been my custom in recent years to post something literary, historical or poetic in honor of Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that I still think of as somehow peculiar to New England even though it is celebrated throughout the United States. In that spirit, I now offer the following poem by Robert Frost, "The Gift Outright":
The land was ours before we were the land’s
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she will become.
To all readers celebrating this holiday, I wish a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving. AMDG.


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