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Josiah Gilbert Holland (Джозайя Гилберт Холланд)


Here dwells the good old farmer, Israel,
In his ancestral home-a Puritan
Who reads his Bible daily, loves his God,
And lives serenely in the faith of Christ.
For threescore years and ten his life has run
Through varied scenes of happiness and woe;
But, constant through the wide vicissitude,
He has confessed the Giver of his joys,
And kissed the hand that took them; and whene'er
Bereavement has oppressed his soul with grief,
Or sharp misfortune stung his heart with pain,
He has bowed down in childlike faith, and said,
'Thy will, O God-Thy will be done, not mine!'
His gentle wife, a dozen summers since,
Passed from his faithful arms and went to heaven;
And her best gift-a maiden sweetly named-
His daughter Ruth-orders the ancient house,
And fills her mother's place beside the board,
And cheers his life with songs and industry.
But who are these who crowd the house to-night-
A happy throng? Wayfaring pilgrims, who,
Grateful for shelter, charm the golden hours
With the sweet jargon of a festival?
Who are these fathers? who these mothers? who
These pleasant children, rude with health and joy?

It is the Puritan's Thanksgiving Eve;
And gathered home, from fresher homes around,
The old man's children keep the holiday-
In dear New England, since the fathers slept-
The sweetest holiday of all the year.
John comes with Prudence and her little girls,
And Peter, matched with Patience, brings his boys-
Fair boys and girls with good old Scripture names-
Joseph, Rebekah, Paul, and Samuel;
And Grace, young Ruth's companion in the house,
Till wrested from her last Thanksgiving Day
By the strong hand of Love, brings home her babe
And the tall poet David, at whose side
She went away. And seated in the midst,
Mary, a foster-daughter of the house,
Of alien blood-self-aliened many a year-
Whose chastened face and melancholy eyes
Bring all the wondering children to her knee,
Weeps with the strange excess of happiness,
And sighs with joy.
What recks the driving storm
Of such a scene as this? And what reck these
Of such a storm? For every heavy gust
That smites the windows with its cloud of sleet,
And shakes the sashes with its ghostly hands,
And rocks the mansion till the chimney's throat
Through all its sooty caverns shrieks and howls,
They give full bursts of careless merriment,
Or songs that send it baffled on its way. 

Josiah Gilbert Holland's other poems:
  1. A Song of Doubt
  2. Cradle Song
  3. Daniel Gray
  4. God, Give us Men!
  5. A Christmas Carol

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