Thanksgiving has become as much about family getting together as it is about the turkey dinner and football. College students home for the break, grandparents coming in for the weekend, cousins and aunts and uncles fill the laden table. Edgar Guest's poem is a homey homily on enjoying the company of loved ones. His use of colloquial English makes us feel as welcome as any of the wanderers that find a chair at the old table.
Edgar A. Guest
"Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers."
Note: My friend Robin Bates at Better Living Through Beowulf, tells me that at one point Edgar Guest was one of America's most known and loved poets. Unfortunately, unlike Norman Rockwell, whose paintings have taken on iconic status, he has faded from memory.