Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Thanksgiving Day, touch hands

William Henry Harrison "Adirondack" Murray was a 19th century clergyman and outdoorsman who, I have read, virtually invented the American outdoors guidebook.  I don't know if that's so, but I do know the man could write.  He wrote a piece about Christmas Day once that my family, many years ago, adopted for Thanksgiving use, too.  And in an era where stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day and many have to go to work, it's an appropriate time to think about what Murray had to say.  Here's what he wrote, with the word Thanksgiving substituted twice where Christmas appears every other day of the year:

Ah friends, dear friends,
years go on and heads get gray,
How fast the guests do go!
Touch hands, touch hands,
With those that stay.
Strong hands to weak,
Old hands to young, around the
Thanksgiving board
touch hands.
The false forget, the foe forgive,
For every guest will go
And every fire burn low
And cabin empty stand.
Forget, forgive,
For who may say that Thanksgiving Day
May ever come to host or guest again.
Touch hands!

~ William Henry Harrison Murray

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