The Mother's Lecture

Original Text: 
Jean Blewett, Heart Songs (Toronto: George N. Morang, 1897): 30-32. Internet Archive.
1There's nothing, did you say, Reuben?
2    There's nothing, nothing at all,
3There's nothing to thank the Lord for
4    This disappointing fall.
5For the frost it cut your corn down,
6    Right when 'twas looking best,
7And then took half the garden,--
8    The drouth took all the rest.
9The wheat was light as light could be,
10    Not half a proper crop,
11Then the fire burned your fences,
12    And burned till it had to stop.
13The cows were poor because the grass
14    Withered all up in the heat,
15And cows are things that won't keep fat
16    Unless they have plenty to eat.
17Suppose the frost did take the corn,
18    And the cattle are not fat,
19Another harvest is coming---
20    You might thank the Lord for that.
21The fire that burned your fences down,
22    And laid your haystacks flat,
23Left the old house above your head,
24    You might thank the Lord for that.
25You've lost from field, and barn, and fold,
27But you've lost nothing from the home,--
28    You might thank the Lord for that.
29And here is your mother at your side,
30    Braiding a beautiful mat,
31I'm old, my boy, but with you yet--
32    You might thank the Lord for that.
33Your wife is a good and patient soul,
34    Not given to worry or spat,
35Nice to see, and pleasant to hear,
36    You might thank the Lord for that.
37Here in the cradle at my side
38    Is something worth looking at,
39She came this disappointing year,
40    You might thank the Lord for that.
41Your boy is calling out, "Daddy!"
42    As hard as ever he can,
43There's lots of folks would thank the Lord
44    For just such a bonnie man.
46    Well, I rather thought you'd be--
47What! going to keep Thanksgiving
48    In a manner good to see?
49To kill the biggest gobbler
50    That's strutting round the farm?
51To give poor folks provisions,
52    And clothes to keep them warm?
53You're going to help and comfort
54    Each sad old wight you find?
55You're feeling so rich and thankful,
56    And heaven has been so kind?
57Ah, now my own boy, Reuben,
58    I'm so glad we've had this chat,
59You're growing so like your father--
60    You might thank the Lord for that.

Notes

26] pat: facilely at hand. Back to Line
45] Reuben: first-born son of Jacob and Leah, and father of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: