‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’: An old poem for modern times

by | Nov 24, 2022 | Poetry and Music

Morning at Sea, 1849, by Ivan Aivazovsky (1817– 1900)

I ran across a poem which I thought would be good to share with readers of Marine Café Blog, especially those who work at sea. ‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’ was written by L. H. Sigourney (1791—1865), an American poet and schoolteacher. The poem is included in her 1850 book, Poems for the Sea. Although not particularly striking, it is worth reading because of its message and the prayer-like sincerity of the words.

Thanksgiving Day at Sea

by L.H. Sigourney

Sons of the boisterous sea,
   With joyous hearts we share
The blessings of this happy land,
   Which heaven hath made its care;

Whose glorious flag is borne
   High o’er the ocean’s breast,
Whose strong-winged eagle proudly makes
   Among the stars his nest.

Not with the cup that drains
   Our best resolves away,
And leaves its poison in our veins,
  We keep the feast this day,

But from the fearful cloud
   Of dark intemperance free,
We thank the Giver of our joys,
   The God of earth and sea;

And if in faithful love
   His precepts we obey,
The whole of life’s short voyage may prove
   Like this Thanksgiving day.

~ Barista Uno

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