Gratitude by Henry Van Dyke

“Do you give thanks for this? — or that?”
No, God be thanked
I am not grateful
In that cold, calculating way, with blessing ranked
As one, two, three, and four, — that would be hateful.

I only know that every day brings good above”
My poor deserving;
I only feel that, in the road of Life, true Love
Is leading me along and never swerving.

Whatever gifts and mercies in my lot may fall,
I would not measure
As worth a certain price in praise, or great or small;
But take and use them all with simple pleasure.

For when we gladly eat our daily bread, we bless
The Hand that feeds us;
And when we tread the road of Life in cheerfulness,
Our very heart-beats praise the Love that leads us.

This blog is managed by Indian novelist Jyoti Arora. Check out her novels and personal blog at jyotiarora.com

1819 New Year’s Carrier’s Address, By: Major Henry Livingston, Jr.

Believe me, dear patrons, I have wand’red too far,
Without any compass, or planet or star;
My dear native village I scarcely can see
So I’ll hie to my hive like the tempest-tost bee.
Hail home! sacred home! to my soul ever dear;
Abroad may be wonders but rapture is here.
My future ambition will never soar higher
Than the clean brushed hearth and convivial fire;
Here I lounge at my pleasure, and bask at my ease,
Full readily sooth’d, and desirous to please,
As happy myself as I happy can be,
I wish all the circle as happy as me.
But hark what a clatter! the Jolly bells ringing,
The lads and the lasses so jovially singing,
Tis New-Years they shout and then haul me along
In the mdist of their merry-make Juvenile throng;
But I burst from their grasp: unforgetful of duty
To first pay obeisence to wisdom and Beauty,
My conscience and int’rest unite to command it,
And you, my kind PATRONS, deserve & demand it.
On your patience to trespass no longer I dare,
So bowing, I wish you a Happy New Year.

Otherwise, By: Jane Kenyon (1947 – 1995)

Otherwise
I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
(c) Jane Kenyon

Peace – By: Sarah Teasdale

Peace flows into me

As the tide to the pool by the shore;

It is mine forevermore,

It will not ebb like the sea.

 *

I am the pool of blue

That worships the vivid sky;

My hopes were heaven-high,

They are all fulfilled in you.

 *

I am the pool of gold

When sunset burns and dies —

You are my deepening skies;

Give me your stars to hold.