James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Thanksgiving - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Let us be thankful--not only because
Since last our universal thanks were told
We have grown greater in the world's applause,
And fortune's newer smiles surpass the old--

But thankful for all things that come as alms
From out the open hand of Providence:--
The winter clouds and storms---the summer calms--
The sleepless dread--the drowse of indolence.

Let us be thankful--thankful for the prayers
Whose gracious answers were long, long delayed,
That they might fall upon us unawares,
And bless us, as in greater need, we prayed.

Let us be thankful for the loyal hand
That love held out in welcome to our own,
When love and only love could understand
The need of touches we had never known.

Let us be thankful for the longing eyes
That gave their secret to us as they wept,
Yet in return found, with a sweet surprise,
Love's touch upon their lids, and, smiling, slept.

And let us, too, be thankful that the tears
Of sorrow have not all been drained away,
That through them still, for all the coming years,
We may look on the dead face of To-day.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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