Thanksgiving Poems: Lydia Maria Child

by Anna Blanch on November 17, 2010

This is the first in a series of poems I’m posting in the lead-up to Thanksgiving next week! Do you have a favourite thanksgiving poem?
 
Over the River and Through the Wood
Lydia Maria Child
1844

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood—
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood.
with a clear blue winter sky,
The dogs do bark and the children hark,
as we go jingling by.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, “Ting a ling ding!”
Hurray for Thanskgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood—
no matter for winds that blow;
Or if we get the sleigh upset
into a bank of snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to see little John and Ann;
We will kiss them all, and play snowball
and stay as long as we can.

Over the river, and through the wood,
trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!
For ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood—
Old Jowler hears our bells;
He shakes his paw with a loud bow-wow,
and thus the news he tells.

Over the river, and through the wood—
when Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, “O, dear, the children are here,
bring pie for everyone.”

Over the river, and through the wood—
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland. She is also a regular contributor to Transpositions.

  • http://rebeccablogs.blogspot.com Rebecca

    Lovely idea! It's a hymn, but what about "Come Ye Thankful People, Come"?
    My recent post GM Hopkins on Faith &amp Writing

  • Rebecca

    We sing it, gathered round the Thanksgiving feast some years instead of one person offering praise. Other times, it's "For the Beauty of the Earth" or "Doxology".
    My recent post GM Hopkins on Faith &amp Writing

  • Bethany

    I second "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come." I love its picture of bringing the harvest in, making all safe before winter sets in. And as a Midwesterner, I love Johnny Appleseed's simple thanksgiving grace:

    Oh, the Lord's been good to me.
    And so I thank the Lord
    For giving me the things I need:
    The sun, the rain and the appleseed;
    Oh, the Lord's been good to me.

    My recent post Making it Home- Better than a Registry- or How a Single Girl Got Matching Dishes

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