Lord God, the winter has been sweet and brief
In this fair land;
For us the budded willow and the leaf,
The peaceful strand.
For us the silver nights and golden days,
The violet mist;
The pearly clouds pierced with vibrating rays
At evening, every wave of our blue sea
Hollowed to hold
A fragment of the sunset’s mystery—
A fleck of gold.
The crimson haze is on the alder trees
In places lush;
Already sings with sweet and lyric ease
The western thrush.
Lord God, for some of us the days and years
Have bitter been;
For some of us the burden and the tears,
The gnawing sin.
For some of us, O God, the scanty store,
The failing bin;
For some of us the gray wolf at the door,
The red, within!
But to the hungry Thou hast given meat,
Hast clothed the cold;
And Thou hast given courage strong and sweet
To the sad and old.
And so we thank Thee, Thou most tender God,
For the leaf and flower;
For the tempered winds, and quickening, velvet sod,
And the gracious shower.
Yea, generous God, we thank Thee for this land
Where all are fed,
Where at the doors no freezing beggars stand,
Pleading for bread.
This poem was published in When the Birds Go North Again (The Macmillan Company, 1898). It is in the public domain.
Ella Higginson was born around 1862 in Council Grove, Kansas. A poet as well as a novelist, short story writer, and nonfiction writer, Higginson was the author of the poetry collections The Vanishing Race (C. M. Sherman, 1911), The Voice of April-Land and Other Poems (The Macmillan Company, 1903), Four-Leaf Clover: A Little Book of Verse (Edson & Irish, 1901), When the Birds Go North Again (The Macmillan Company, 1898), and A Bunch of Western Clover (Edson & Irish, 1894), as well as two short story collections, a novel, and an Alaskan travel book. In 1931, she was named the poet laureate of Washington State. She died in Bellingham, Washington, on December 27, 1940.
Date Published: 2017-12-11
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/thank-offering