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?
O, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling;
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces were 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 traveled 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
Gold-tinted and fair as thine own pumpkin-pie!