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Grazzie

November 22, 2004

This post begins my list of "gratefuls", to be continued throughout this Thanksgiving week. I'm sure you already knew this, but Thanksgiving wasn't officially a national holiday until the Civil War, when Lincoln set the last Thursday in November apart for remembering.

In all ways, Thanksgiving was a time to express gratitude to God, from whom all blessings flow (note the use of the objective case for the preceding pronoun) and thus I begin (this is the lit major in me) with a poem.

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine–
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget.

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget!

Far called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget!

If drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law-
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valient dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word-
Have mercy on Thy People, Lord.

Rudyard Kipling
"Recessional"
1897

I am, above all, grateful that my Lord, who has no reason to take notice of me, poor and weak as I am, has seen fit to love me. His love is all-consuming, undeserved but demanding all, but he is gentle, oh, so gentle.

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