The Giving of Thanks

What profit the meek that they gain the earth
Without the wherewithal to plough
And sow the seeds of distant mirth
So jollity may bloom and grow

To render fruitful gifted sod
Takes time that none so meek may hold
Unless in changing nature’s clod
He steels himself to make so bold

And doing thusly, loses all
The bounty he had earned in deep
Humility and careful crawl
To build the empires he did seek

With these two hands undo the deeds
Upon which founder grew so tall
All loftiness and blessed greed
No longer fearful at the call

When other men have stood and shook
From head to toe to hear such voice
Proclaiming what had been forsook
By liberty and foolish choice

What meek men did, they do no more
As others shuffle in their place
And turn their cheek and fear the poor
Whose habits keep them clothed in lace

Where now is earth? What saltiness
Has dripped upon the failing crops
From little more than cowardice
The planet from mean axis, stops

No longer crouching ‘cross the sky
But stalling in such attitude
With what was learned from you and I
When treated harshly, men are rude

Mechanicals at best and worst
Who may not see their actions’ swell
But recognise their face is cursed
And know the reason all too well

6 thoughts on “The Giving of Thanks

    • Thank you, Giovanni. I have not made a particular study of English eighteenth century poets, but I have always done a lot of reading, so find it easy to fall into someone else’s voice every so often.

  1. What goes around comes around. Sometimes there is a reward to gain, other times a debt called that can never be repaid.

    When my grandfather was on his death bed, he told my mother, there were two things he wanted, when he left the walks of this life… one was to have no enemies, the other was to have no unpaid debts. I believe he was successful in both… That is what your fine poem brought to my recall, Katherine, and for this, I am in your debt. Thank you.

    • When still young and impressionable, we were given ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ to read in school. I still remember the story reasonably well, but the scene that made the deepest impression was always the old lady slowly weaning herself off the morphine because she wanted to die ‘beholden to nothing and nobody’. That always struck me as a very noble goal.

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