Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
The Boys' And Girls' Thanksgiving of 1892
Never since the race was started,
Had a boy in any clime,
Cause to be so thankful-hearted,
As the boys of present time.
Not a girl in old times living-
Let the world talk as it may-
Found such reasons for Thanksgiving,
As the girls who live to-day!
Grandmas, in their corners sitting,
Toiling till the day grew late,
What knew they with endless knitting,
Of the jolly roller-skate?
Grandpas sitting by the fender,
Reading by the faggots' blaze,
What knew they of modern splendor
Found in incandescent rays?
Where they toiled in bitter weather,
Braving rain and snow and sleet,
Gathering sticks of wood together,
We have radiators' heat.
But these fruits of modern science
They first planted seed by seed,
In their strength and self-reliance
We may find a noble creed.
With the dawn of great inventions,
Came the anti-warring days.
Men are sick of armed contentions,
God be thanked with heart-felt praise.
Once a boy was trained for fighting,
Now the world is better taught,
'Tis an age when wrongs are righting
By the force of common thought.
Once a girl was trained for sewing,
Spinning, knitting, nothing more.
She must never think of knowing
Aught of things outside her door.
If she soared above her spinning,
If she sought a life more broad,
She was looked upon as sinning
'Gainst the laws of man and God.
Now a girl is taught she's human,
Brain and body, soul and heart-
All are needed by the woman
Who to-day would play her part.
Swift and sure the world advances,
Let the critic carp who may.
God be praised for all the chances
Boys and girls enjoy to-day.
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