The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Monday and Warm Autumn Canal


The Pumpkin
By John Greenleaf Whittier

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o'er Nineveh's prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin,—our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E'er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o'er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

--------

Quickie after the misery that was the World Series game tonight, which my father was at (I'm blaming the more infamous spectator at the game for how the Nationals played). It was otherwise a very nice day -- oh, it rained all morning and we did chores, but then the sun came out, the temperature went above 70 degrees even though it's October, I went to do an EX raid in Potomac Village, then we went to the C&O Canal to take a walk and see the ducks, frogs, and turtles who looked just as surprised about the warm weather!

We stopped at the Bethesda Co-op, at Giant, and at the local fruit stand to get a pumpkin for Halloween, ate chana masala and tikka masala for dinner, and put on the game, which was so depressing that we turned off the end to watch Madam Secretary (which started late because of football, though neither of the local teams played -- the Ravens because they had the week off, DC because they played Thursday, and Seattle won so older son was pleased). Here are a few photos of our unexpected summer afternoon in fall:

2019-10-27 13.47.05

DSCN3348

DSCN3317

DSCN3398

DSCN3335

2019-10-27 14.02.49

2019-10-27 16.03.58
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