Friday, November 25, 2011

Poetry Friday

Here’s a poem from New Hampshire’s Sarah Josepha Hale. The author of the nursery rhyme “Mary’s Lamb” and editor of the first women’s magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book, Sarah firmly believed in a national day of Thanksgiving. She wrote letters for years advocating for this holiday. In 1863, Lincoln’s proclamation made it a reality. Heidi hosts the roundup today at my juicy little universe

“Tis not when th’ obsequious throng
Raise their plaudits loud and long,
Golden showers each wish supply
And surfeit even luxury;
‘Tis not then we taste of bliss,
Or feel the glow of happiness.

Rosy health the cheek may dye,
Youth exult with jocund eye;
Pleasure spread her syren feast;
Parasites attend their guest;
‘Tis not then we taste of bliss,
Or feel the glow of happiness.

Haste, unlock the hoarded store;
Feed the hungry, clothe the poor;
Aid the injured, nor the sigh
Of sorrow pass unheeded by.
Then, yes, then we taste of bliss,
and feel the glow of happiness.

Sarah Josepha Hale
from The Genius of Oblivion and other Original Poems, 1823

Check out To My Countrywomen, The Life of Sarah Josepha Hale by Muriel L. Dubois at Apprentice Shop Books.


  1. Interesting what a prescient lady Sarah Josepha was way back in 1823. The glow of happiness lies not in "th' obsequious throng" but in giving.

    Thank you for this great poem.

  2. So thankful you shared this, Joyce - what a powerful poem to shed light on this holiday we take for granted.

  3. It reminds me that it is only when we give so richly that we also feel blessed - our gratitude for that which is now gone from us and to the hands of another - making everything so much sweeter. Happy Thanksgiving.


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