Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Landing of the Pilgrims

    THE breaking waves dashed high,
    On a stern and rock-bound coast,
    And the woods against a stormy sky
    Their giant branches tossed;

    And the heavy night hung dark
    The hills and waters o'er,
    When a band of exiles moored their bark
    On the wild New England shore.

    Not as the conqueror comes,
    They, the true-hearted came;
    Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
    And the trumpet that sings of fame;

    Not as the flying come,
    In silence and in fear;--
    They shook the depths of the desert gloom
    With their hymns of lofty cheer.

    Amidst the storm they sang,
    And the stars heard, and the sea;
    And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
    To the anthem of the free!

    The ocean eagle soared
    From his nest by the white wave's foam;
    And the rocking pines of the forest roared--
    This was their welcome home!

    There were men with hoary hair
    Amidst that pilgrim band:
    Why had they come to wither there,
    Away from their childhood's land?

    There was woman's fearless eye,
    Lit by her deep love's truth;
    There was manhood's brow serenely high,
    And the fiery heart of youth.

    What sought they thus afar?
    Bright jewels of the mine?
    The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?--
    They sought a faith's pure shrine!

    Ay, call it holy ground,
    The soil where first they trod.
    They have left unstained what there they found--
    Freedom to worship God.

    Felicia Dorothea Hemans

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