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  Thanksgiving Promise of November  


Nature, erewhile so marvelously lovely, is bereft
                        Of her supernal charm;
And with the few dead garlands of departed splendor left,
                        Like crape upon her arm,
            In boreal hints, and sudden gusts
                        That fan the glowing ember,
            By multitude of ways fulfills
                        The promise of November.

Upon the path where Beauty, sylvan priestess, sped away,
                        Lies the rich afterglow
Of Indian Summer, bringing round the happy holiday
                        That antedates the snow:
            The glad Thanksgiving time, the cheer,
                        The festival commotion
            That stirs fraternal feeling from
                        The mountains to the ocean.

O Hospitality! unclose thy bounty-laden hand
                        In generous dealing, where
Is gathered in reunion each long-severed household band,
                        And let no vacant chair
            Show where the strongest, brightest link
                        In love's dear chain is broken--
            A symbol more pathetic than
                        By language ever spoken.

Into the place held sacred to the memory of some
                        Beloved absentee,
Perchance passed to the other shore, oh, let the stranger come
                        And in gratuity
            Partake of festal favors that
                        Shall sweeten hours of labor,
            And strengthen amity and love
                        Unto his friend and neighbor.

Let gratitude's pure incense in warm orisons ascend,
                        A blessing to secure,
And gracious impulse bearing largesse of good gifts extend
                        To all deserving poor;
            So may the day be hallowed by
                        Unstinted thanks and giving,
            In sweet remembrance of the dead
                        And kindness to the living.

       - Hattie Howard

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