The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday and Thanksgiving Dinner

My Triumph
By John Greenleaf Whittier

The autumn-time has come;
On woods that dream of bloom,
And over purpling vines,
The low sun fainter shines.

The aster-flower is failing,
The hazel's gold is paling;
Yet overhead more near
The eternal stars appear!

And present gratitude
Insures the future’s good,
And for the things I see
I trust the things to be;

That in the paths untrod,
And the long days of God,
My feet shall still be led,
My heart be comforted.

O living friends who love me!
O dear ones gone above me!
Careless of other fame,
I leave to you my name.

Hide it from idle praises,
Save it from evil phrases:
Why, when dear lips that spake it
Are dumb, should strangers wake it?

Let the thick curtain fall;
I better know than all
How little I have gained,
How vast the unattained.

Not by the page word-painted
Let life be banned or sainted:
Deeper than written scroll
The colors of the soul.

Sweeter than any sung
My songs that found no tongue;
Nobler than any fact
My wish that failed of act.

Others shall sing the song,
Others shall right the wrong,—
Finish what I begin,
And all I fail of win.

What matter, I or they?
Mine or another's day,
So the right word be said
And life the sweeter made?

Hail to the coming singers!
Hail to the brave light-bringers!
Forward I reach and share
All that they sing and dare.

The airs of heaven blow o'er me;
A glory shines before me
Of what mankind shall be,—
Pure, generous, brave, and free.

A dream of man and woman
Diviner but still human,
Solving the riddle old,
Shaping the Age of Gold!

The love of God and neighbor;
An equal-handed labor;
The richer life, where beauty
Walks hand in hand with duty.

Ring, bells in unreared steeples,
The joy of unborn peoples!
Sound, trumpets far off blown,
Your triumph is my own!

Parcel and part of all,
I keep the festival,
Fore-reach the good to be,
And share the victory.

I feel the earth move sunward,
I join the great march onward,
And take, by faith, while living,
My freehold of thanksgiving.


I am suffering from post-Thanksgiving lethargy even though I ate tofurky. Adam tells me that it is actually crashing blood sugar after all the carbs and desserts, not L-tryptophan, that really makes people sleepy, so this makes sense. He got up early this morning to run a 10K with friends from school, his first competitive one; the rest of us slept in a bit, especially those of us who'd been up late with a cat. After he got back, both kids went with my father to pick up some food so my father wouldn't have to carry heavy bags with his injured hand and I did some cat-related laundry.

Paul's parents came over in the afternoon and we hung out while waiting for the tofurky to finish cooking, watching the early football game. Then we went to my parents' where my sister and her family are visiting, watched a bit of the Redskins game, and ate a huge amount starting with brie-and-raspberry hors d'oeuvres and nuts, then real and fake turkey, stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrot souffle, cranberry sauce, and more desserts than I can remember, all of which were great. My kids and their cousins were slightly rambunctious but everyone came home happy!

My kids, their cousins, and stuffed turkeys.

Daniel teaching his grandfather fencing.

My mother, her grandchildren, and a soon-to-be-demolished SpongeBob pinata.

Paul's annual cookie cake (previous cakes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).

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