A poem by Hattie Howard

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.

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