As we sit before the well stocked table of food we will consume to excess, only to rest up afterwards to shop until we drop, we often drop a few pious platitudes so as not to forsake entirely the spiritual character of this day of thanksgiving. So instead of leaving you with my own pious platitudes or worse, my own angry frustration, I will leave you with one of my favorite poems on thankfulness -- one written before there was an America and before there was a Thursday in November designated as a national day of Thanksgiving.
GRATEFULNESS + by George Herbert (1593- 1633)
Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee By art.
He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And says, If he in this be crossed,
All thou hast given him heretofore Is lost.
But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst To save.
Perpetual knockings at thy door,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more, And comes.
This not withstanding, thou wenst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay thou hast made a sigh and groan Thy joys.
Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than groans can make;
But that these country-airs thy love Did take.
Wherefore I cry, and cry again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankful heart obtain Of thee:
Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be Thy praise.