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Gratitude Poems

Table of Contents


  1. Be Thankful by Anonymous
  2. Ingratitude by William Shakespeare
  3. The Winter King by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. Thanksgiving Deferred by Anonymous
  5. Ingratitude by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  6. Written in a Little Lady's Little Album by Frederick William Faber
  7. Be Glad and Thankful by Anonymous
  8. Thankfulness by Jean Blewett
  9. Recompense by Grace Noll Crowell
  10. Morning by Annette Wynne
  11. A Thanksgiving Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  12. Love's Sacrifice by Jean Blewett
  13. Freely Receive, Freely Give by Peter Burn

  1. Be Thankful

    Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
    Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
    and they can become your blessings.

    - Anonymous
    Be Thankful
    by Anonymous

    Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
    If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

    Be thankful when you don't know something,
    for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

    Be thankful for the difficult times.
    During those times you grow.

    Be thankful for your limitations,
    because they give you opportunities for improvement.

    Be thankful for each new challenge,
    because it will build your strength and character.

    Be thankful for your mistakes.
    They will teach you valuable lessons.

    Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
    because it means you've made a difference.

    It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
    A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
    are also thankful for the setbacks.

    Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
    Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
    and they can become your blessings.

  2. The Winter King

    "A very small portion sufficient will be,
    If sweetened with gratitude. Pee, dee, dee!"

    – Hannah Flagg Gould
    The Winter King
    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Oh! what will become of thee, poor little bird?
    The muttering storm in the distance is heard;
    The rough winds are waking, the clouds growing black,
    They'll soon scatter snowflakes all over thy back!
    From what sunny clime hast thou wandered away?
    And what art thou doing this cold winter day?

    "I'm picking the gum from the old peach tree;
    The storm doesn't trouble me. Pee, dee, dee!"

    But what makes thee seem so unconscious of care?
    The brown earth is frozen, the branches are bare:
    And how canst thou be so light-hearted and free,
    As if danger and suffering thou never should'st see,
    When no place is near for thy evening nest,
    No leaf for thy screen, for thy bosom no rest?

    "Because the same Hand is a shelter for me,
    That took off the summer leaves. Pee, dee, dee!"

    But man feels a burden of care and of grief,
    While plucking the cluster and binding the sheaf:
    In the summer we faint, in the winter we're chilled,
    With ever a void that is yet to be filled.
    We take from the ocean, the earth, and the air,
    Yet all their rich gifts do not silence our care.

    "A very small portion sufficient will be,
    If sweetened with gratitude. Pee, dee, dee!"

    But soon there'll be ice weighing down the light bough,
    On which thou art flitting so playfully now;
    And though there's a vesture well fitted and warm,
    Protecting the rest of thy delicate form,
    What, then, wilt thou do with thy little bare feet,
    To save them from pain, mid the frost and the sleet?

    "I can draw them right up in my feathers, you see,
    To warm them, and fly away. Pee, dee, dee!"

    I thank thee, bright monitor; what thou hast taught
    Will oft be the theme of the happiest thought;
    We look at the clouds; while the birds have an eye
    To Him who reigns over them, changeless and high.
    And now little hero, just tell me thy name,
    That I may be sure whence my oracle came.

    "Because, in all weather, I'm merry and free,
    They call me the Winter King. Pee, dee, dee!"

  3. Thanksgiving Deferred

    I bless Thee, who dost all my ills remove;
    But ah, when all was well, where was my love?

    – Anonymous
    Thanksgiving Deferred
    by Anonymous

    I bless Thee, Lord, who hast restored my sight;
    Where were my thanks through all my years of light?

    Thou liftest me again; Thy praise I tell;
    Where was my gratitude before I fell?

    Thou healest me; glad thanks to Thee belong;
    Alas, my thankless heart when I was strong!

    My fetters Thou dost loose; all praise to Thee!
    And yet I praised Thee not when I was free.

    I bless Thee, who dost all my ills remove;
    But ah, when all was well, where was my love?

  4. Flower and Thorn

    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    Four bluish eggs all in the moss!
    Soft-lined home on the cherry-bough!
    Life is trouble, and love is loss—
    There's only one robin now.

    O robin up in the cherry-tree,
    Singing your soul away,
    Great is the grief befallen me,
    And how can you be so gay?

    Long ago when you cried in the nest,
    The last of the sickly brood,
    Scarcely a pinfeather warming your breast,
    Who was it brought you food?

    Who said, "Music, come fill his throat,
    Or ever the May be fled"?
    Who was it loved the low sweet note
    And the bosom's sea-shell red?

    Who said, "Cherries, grow ripe and big,
    Black and ripe for this bird of mine"?
    How little bright-bosom bends the twig,
    Sipping the black-heart's wine!

    Now that my days and nights are woe,
    Now that I weep for love's dear sake—
    There you go singing away as though
    Never a heart could break!

  5. Thanksgiving

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    My heart gives thanks for many things;
    For strength to labor day by day,
    For sleep that comes when darkness wings
    With evening up the eastern way.
    I give deep thanks that I'm at peace
    With kith and kin and neighbors, too —
    Dear Lord, for all last year's increase,
    That helped me strive and hope and do.

    My heart gives thanks for many things;
    I know not how to name them all.
    My soul is free from frets and stings,
    My mind from creed and doctrine's thrall.
    For sun and stars, for flowers and streams,
    For work and hope and rest and play —
    For empty moments given to dreams,
    For these my hear gives thanks to-day.

  6. Written in a Little Lady's Little Album

    And hope that lives
    On what God gives
    Is Christian hope well founded.

    – Frederick William Faber
    Written in a Little Lady's Little Album
    by Frederick William Faber

    Hearts good and true
    Have wishes few
    In narrow circles bounded,
    And hope that lives
    On what God gives
    Is Christian hope well founded.

    Small things are best;
    Grief and unrest
    To rank and wealth are given;
    But little things
    On little wings
    Bear little souls to heaven.

    Thanksgiving is
    A time of gratitude to God, our Creator and Provider,
    Whose guidance and care go before us.
    And whose love is with us forever.

    – Anonymous
    Thanksgiving Is....

  7. Ingratitude

  8. Ingratitude

    Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
    Thou are not so unkind
    As man's ingratitude;

    - William Shakespeare
    by William Shakespeare

    Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
    Thou are not so unkind
    As man's ingratitude;
    Thy tooth is not so keen
    Because thou are not seen,
    Although thy breath be rude.

    Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
    Thou dost not bite so nigh
    As benefits forgot;
    Though thou the waters warp,
    Thy sting is not so sharp
    As friend remembered not.

  9. Thanksgiving

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    We walk on starry fields of white
    And do not see the daisies;
    For blessings common in our sight
    We rarely offer praises.
    We sigh for some supreme delight
    To crown our lives with splendor,
    And quite ignore our daily store
    Of pleasures sweet and tender.

    Our cares are bold and push their way
    Upon our thought and feeling.
    They hang about us all the day,
    Our time from pleasure stealing.
    So unobtrusive many a joy
    We pass by and forget it,
    But worry strives to own our lives
    And conquers if we let it.

    There's not a day in all the year
    But holds some hidden pleasure,
    And looking back, joys oft appear
    To brim the past's wide measure.

    But blessings are like friends, I hold,
    Who love and labor near us.
    We ought to raise our notes of praise
    While living hearts can hear us.

    Full many a blessing wears the guise
    Of worry or of trouble.
    Farseeing is the soul and wise
    Who knows the mask is double.
    But he who has the faith and strength
    To thank his God for sorrow
    Has found a joy without alloy
    To gladden every morrow.

    We ought to make the moments notes
    Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
    The hours and days a silent phrase
    Of music we are living.
    And so the theme should swell and grow
    As weeks and months pass o'er us,
    And rise sublime at this good time,
    A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

  10. Be Glad and Thankful

    by Anonymous

    Little children, are you tempted,
    Sometimes, to be cross and fret,
    Just because you cannot always
    Have your selfish wishes met?

    Did you ever for a moment,
    Think how very rich you are,
    In that little hand so clever,
    Full of grace and beauty rare?

    Close those eyes so full of sunshine;
    Let them never see the light;
    Grope your way here ever after;
    Let your life be one long night.

    Or let sickness touch your body;
    Lay you on a bed of pain;
    Bid those little feet so active,
    Never run and play again.

    Now, dear children, tell me truly,
    For your hands, or eyes, or health,
    Shall I give you gold or silver,
    Till you are increased in wealth?

    Shall it be ten million dollars,
    In your coffers I will pay,
    And from out this three-fold blessing,
    You will give one strand away?

    O, no, no! not for one moment,
    Would you hesitate to choose;
    You would quickly spurn my offer
    Rather than these blessings lose.

    Learn then to be glad and thankful,
    And with all things be content;
    For behind each little trial
    Is a needful lesson sent.

  11. Thankfulness

    by Jean Blewett

    I THANK Thee, Lord,
    For every joyous hour
    That has been mine!
    For every strengthening and helpful word,
    For every tender sound that I have heard,
    I thank Thee, Lord

    I thank Thee, Lord,
    For work and weariness
    That have been mine!
    For patience toward one groping toward the light,
    For mid-day burden and for rest of night,
    I thank Thee, Lord.

  12. Recompense

    by Grace Noll Crowell

    I never have had a look at the sea,
    I who would love it so.
    I never have watched from the surf-drenched shore
    The brave ships come and go.
    I do not know how the silent tides
    Unfailingly ebb and flow.

    But God who is wise to His children's needs
    Gives me the wide, low plain,
    He gives me the wondrous, whispering grass,
    The kildee's sweet refrain,
    And my reed-fringed pools are myriad seas
    After the last long rain.

    I never have been where the mountains stand
    But nightly the infinite star-crowned heights
    Speak to my waiting heart,
    And mine are the winds that are mountain-born,
    And of seas they are a part.

  13. Morning

    by Annette Wynne

    Dear Lord, that takes the night,
    Thank you for the morning light;
    When little stars all hide away,
    Thank you for the sun and day!

  14. A Thanksgiving Poem

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    The sun hath shed its kindly light,
    Our harvesting is gladly o’er
    Our fields have felt no killing blight,
    Our bins are filled with goodly store.

    From pestilence, fire, flood, and sword
    We have been spared by thy decree,
    And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
    We come to pay our thanks to thee.

    We feel that had our merits been
    The measure of thy gifts to us,
    We erring children, born of sin,
    Might not now be rejoicing thus.

    No deed of our hath brought us grace;
    When thou were nigh our sight was dull,
    We hid in trembling from thy face,
    But thou, O God, wert merciful.

    Thy mighty hand o’er all the land
    Hath still been open to bestow
    Those blessings which our wants demand
    From heaven, whence all blessings flow.

    Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,
    Looked down on us with holy care,
    And from thy storehouse in the sky
    Hast scattered plenty everywhere.

    Then lift we up our songs of praise
    To thee, O Father, good and kind;
    To thee we consecrate our days;
    Be thine the temple of each mind.

    With incense sweet our thanks ascend;
    Before thy works our powers pall;
    Though we should strive years without end,
    We could not thank thee for them all.

  15. Love's Sacrifice

    by Jean Blewett

    "And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Phariseehouse, brought an alabaster box of ointment and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head."

    The eyes He turned on her who kneeling wept
    Were filled with tenderness and pity rare;
    But looking on the Pharisee, there crept
    A sorrow and a hint of sternness there.

    "Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee,"
    The Master's voice rang clearly out, and stirred,
    With its new note of full authority,
    The list'ning throng, who pressed to catch each word.

    "Master, say on,' self-righteous Simon said,
    And muttered in his beard, 'A sinner, she!"
    Marvelling the while that on the drooping head
    The hand of Jesus rested tenderly.

    "Seest thou this woman, Simon?' Scornful eyes
    Did Simon bend upon the woman's face,
    The while the breath of love's sweet sacrifice
    Rose from the broken box and filled the place.

    Self-righteousness, the slimy thing that grows
    Upon a fellow-creature's frailty,
    That waxes fat on shame of ruined lives,
    Swelled in the bosom of the Pharisee.

    "Into thine house I came at thy request,
    Weary with travel, and thou gavest not
    To me the service due the humblest guest,
    No towel, no water clear and cold was brought

    "To wash my feet; but she, whom you despise,
    Out of the great affection she doth bear
    Hath made a basin of her woman's eyes,
    A towel of her woman's wealth of hair.

    "Thou gavest me no kiss'—O Simon, shame,
    Thus coldly and unlovingly to greet
    The Prince of Peace!—'but ever since I came
    This woman hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

    "He loveth most who hath been most forgiven."
    O Simon, hearken, learn the great truth well,
    No soul on faith's glad wings mounts nearer heaven
    Than that which hath been prisoned deep in hell.

    Methinks I hear her say: "Thou who forgivest
    My many sins, this off'ring, sweet of breath,
    I pour on Thee, dear Lord, while yet thou liv'st,
    For love is ever swift to outrun death.'

    Upon her are the eyes of Jesus turned,
    With gaze which seems to strengthen and to bless.
    Who knows how long the soul of Him hath yearned
    For some such token of rare tenderness?

    The flush of shame flaunts red on Simon's cheeks,
    About the table idle babblings cease,
    A deep, full silence, then the Master speaks:
    "Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace—in peace."

  16. Freely Receive, Freely Give

    by Peter Burn

    Repay each act of kindness,
    Return each look of love,
    And not to others' goodness
    Ungrateful let us prove;
    But like the little flower,
    In thanks for what is done,
    Give sweetness for the shower,
    And beauty for the sun.

    If we derive a pleasure
    From that which we receive,
    Let us the self-same measure
    To others freely give;
    Our joy will be the sweeter,
    If we thus practise love,
    The world will be the better,
    And God our works approve.

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