30 November 2009

When You Click Upon a Star

A surprise every day until Christmas!

Chez Martine - Advent Calendar 2009

LOL. If you click on a star before it's time, an angel trumpets "No peeking!"

(What you get, BTW, are add-your-name-and-save Christmas themed signature tags for use on e-mails.)

29 November 2009


subtitled "Gifts, Activities, Fads, and Fancies, 1920s-1960s"
by Susan Waggoner

In 2004 Waggoner released a nostalgic book called It's A Wonderful Christmas, using magazine ads, photos, illustrations, and other media to show us Christmas past in the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. This was followed by a similar book about toys from the 1920s to the 1960s. Now in this third book she presents more nostalgia, this time starting at "the Roaring 20s" and continuing through "the swinging 60s." Once again advertisements and illustrations, elaborated with narration, prices from the decade, and memories of those who lived through the era are well mixed in this full-color delight. The sophisticated colors of 1920s decorating, the make-do attitude of the 1930s, the can-do attitude of the World War II years and the boom in the late 1940s, the baby boomer years of the 1950s, and the sleek novelties of the 1960s—like aluminum Christmas trees and plastic decorations—are all presented. A must for fans of old-fashioned celebrations and Christmas nostalgia.

First Sunday of Advent

This time of the year has always been about light against the darkness.

Christian followers are familiar with the Bible verse spoken by Jesus that states

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

In honor of His coming, we place candles in windows and lights on Christmas trees. In Irish and Italian families, it was common to leave a candle in the window on Christmas Eve for the Holy Family. Latino families light farolitos, sometimes called luminaria, candles in paper bags or in stone containers, to light their paths. Other Christian cultures have light symbolism.

But other cultures also emphasize light. The Jewish holiday Hanukkah (or Chanukah) features a candelabra called a menorah which symbolizes a miracle: one day's worth of anointed oil lasted for eight days. The African-American holiday Kwanzaa uses candles to symbolize life-affirming traits. Pagan cultures lit candles and bonfires on the shortest night of the year, the winter solstice.

In honor of the season of light, when I start the year's Christmas decorating, what I put up are the window candles. Our color is blue because as a child I always loved going by blue-lit homes: they appeared so ethereal. I remember one house on Budlong Road which had a young tree out front, and for years the owners decorated the tree in blue lights. I couldn't wait for the next Christmas to see "the blue tree." Alas, either the tree grew too large for the owner to decorate or the family moved, and the custom stopped. There are two sets of three candles downstairs in the library, and two sets of five candles upstairs in the bedrooms, in the only front windows we have. The two dining room windows have single candles with color-changing bulbs in them. These are such a delight to watch.

On the first Sunday of Advent, I also put up the door wreaths. Every door in the house has a wreath or a swag in a fall motif, which is our home's motif all year round—except at Christmas! Fall wreaths are exchanged for Christmas-themed wreaths: natural-looking ones of cedar and berries or pine cones and branches or berries and twigs, or some with Christmas frippery, and at least one bottle-brush wreath with little red and green balls and a net red bow that I fell in love with. There's a mistletoe ball on the entryway to the hall that leads to the bedroom [wink!] and a smaller sprig downstairs going to the library. Some garland is around that entryway and also to the door that goes to the deck. A little fall decoration on the deck door has been exchanged for a diamond-shaped wreath with two cardinals and red bells that declares "Every birdie welcome." (The bird feeders are on the deck.)

I also put out the Christmas banner on the porch and the wreath on the door. Alas, the light string on the wreath isn't working again. Every year I get a new string and by the following year it burns out.

It would have been nice to put the rest of the lights out, but James' knee is not yet up to the task. It didn't feel much like Christmas, either...65°F today! Maybe next weekend. I'm feeling itchy now after already passing at least a dozen different homes with Christmas lights. Several people had them up before Thanksgiving. And the city of Smyrna has been putting up their Christmas display for several weeks.

In the meantime, enjoy all the lights of Midwinter!

27 November 2009


by Ace Collins

Ever buy an Advent calendar? Behind every door for every day in December there's a picture, or perhaps a candy. It's a way to enjoy the anticipation of the Christmas season.

Think of this as an Advent calendar book. Each chapter discusses an aspect of the Christmas season from a Christian point of view (although much of the book stresses faith and happiness in a general manner)—fighting depression by doing good for others, teaching children about Christmas, relating mistletoe to modern celebration, emulating the spirit of Santa Claus, etc. Collins passes on a few old chestnuts that are not considered true, such as the Twelve Days of Christmas being used as a Christian teaching tool (more than likely it was a forfeit song in a game), but the book as a whole is a nice daybook for the Christmas season. One chapter each day will get you to Christmas, and there's even a bonus chapter for Boxing Day.

Shop Til You Sleep

Was ambivalent about this morning. Woke up at 3:30, turned off my alarm clock, which was set to 5:30. Woke up again at 5:42. Oh, well.

I uncovered Schuyler and she seemed to be okay, but still doing the kicking. She has eliminated several times. What I'm most worried about is something called "egg binding." It's very bad for the bird. But usually they present with other symptoms, too, and she has none of them.

I remembered when this happened in Owensboro I gave her a grape and the problem went away.


So I went to Kohl's and got what we really needed: a mattress pad. This is one of those memory-foam jobs. James says the egg-crate foam we have just isn't softening the mattress for him. It's perfect for me, not for him.

There was something else there I was going to buy for James, but it's a good thing it was out. It turned out it wasn't what I thought it was.

However, I did go somewhere else later and get James' gift. In the meantime I went to Staples and got a USB stick. I keep reading so many things about having multiple backups of your digital photos. I got a large one this time.

And then I was done. I had to get grapes for Schuyler, so I went to Kroger and did the rest of the shopping. I wasn't even sure the store was open; they had carts in front of the main door. Heck, I even beat the armored car there.

By that time I was so sleepy of course I forgot the grapes. But at least I was still in the parking lot at the time.

Schuyler attacked the grape immediately. I put the milk and fruit/vegetables away and attacked the sofa soon after. I woke after eleven feeling refreshed but cold.

Been sitting here keeping an eye on Schuyler. She is doing all her usual things and is hungry. Sick birds usually don't eat, never mind being hungry. Still, I'm feeling nervous enough to call the vet. But my avian vet isn't in the office until Monday. The technician seemed familiar enough with egg binding to think we might wait until then. I'm to keep in touch and go to the emergency vet if things change.

In the meantime I'm dubbing off Castle episodes; I can do them all but the season premiere, which has a bunch of weather alerts.

26 November 2009

A Capote Thanksgiving

Apparently at some time in the past A&E (before it became a haven for tiresome reality shows) television aired both Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor. A Christmas Memory is a deserved classic, but here is the holiday followup. Both have been posted to YouTube and appear to be uncut except for not having credits at the end, unlike the copy of Memory I taped off Macon's Channel 24 in the mid-1980s, with a huge "bug" and time and temperature in the lower right hand corner.

Ironically, A Christmas Memory is on a DVD release, but only in black and white. The manufacturer claims the color copy has been "lost."

Truman Capote's The Thanksgiving Visitor, part 1

Truman Capote's The Thanksgiving Visitor, part 2

Truman Capote's The Thanksgiving Visitor, part 3

Truman Capote's The Thanksgiving Visitor, part 4

Truman Capote's The Thanksgiving Visitor, part 5

25 November 2009

Thanksgiving Programs Watched Tonight

Thanksgiving Unwrapped

The Secret Life of Thanksgiving

Home for the Holidays: The History of Thanksgiving

New England Thanksgiving

and the "Home From Home" episode of Alistair Cooke's America

So we went from food to history (and football...LOL) and then to solid history.

A Real Thanksgiving Treasure

Audiences loved 1972's The House Without a Christmas Tree enough that a sequel was made for Thanksgiving of 1973.

The original special was based on the childhood memories of Gail Rock, a Nebraska native who later worked in Hollywood. For this sequel, Rock also drew on her Nebraska schooldays, but star Lisa Lucas added something to the mix. She reportedly asked Rock if she could add a horse to the story, and that's how the pinto horse, the titular Treasure who combines with the story to make a double meaning, was included in the mix.

Addie Mills is a bright and artistic 11-year-old with dreams of becoming "a painter and living in Paris" growing up in 1947 Nebraska with her dour widowed father and supportive grandmother. Her mother died when she was just a few months old, leaving her father withdrawn and embittered. Things had come to a head the previous Christmas, told in The House Without a Christmas Tree, and father James' character is just beginning to thaw in this outing. But he won't thaw to crusty curmudgeon Walter Rhenquist, an elderly farmer who owes him money for digging a pond. The pond, states Rhenquist, leaks. Of course, retorts James, I told you that you chose the wrong place for it.

In the meantime Addie, along with taking part in a radio play about the first Thanksgiving and using her talents on a mural of the event at school, is absorbing some of the real meaning of the holiday. She broaches inviting Rhenquist to Thanksgiving dinner, with the predicted response from her father, and ends up hiding away leftovers and biking them out to the old codger. While he also initially responds with hostility, Addie's charm and her best pal Cora Sue's quirky honesty wins him over. Eventually he allows Addie to ride and groom his horse and, although he calls her bossy, becomes friends with her.

Like its predecessor, Thanksgiving Treasure tells a very low-key story, one of real people rather than fantastically handsome/beautiful folks in big apartments with lots of expensive clothes, or comic idiots. Sadly, in a cost-cutting measure, CBS filmed all the Addie Mills stories on soap-opera quality videotape, which gives them a very cheap look. Conversely, it gives the stories a reality-TV quality, as if you are peeking into the life of a child in 1947.

To me these peeks bring back so many childhood memories that it seems there are two nostalgia factors, the show itself and the life it reminds me of. I knew very few "new" homes back then. Our 1951 Cape Cod, my Confirmation godmother's home, and my Uncle Nicky's house were three of the newest homes I knew. All of my other relatives lived in older homes, with furnishings and decorations that harked back to Addie's era or earlier. Several of my D'Ambra relatives lived in the old company homes for the Cranston Print Works ("the Village"), built much earlier in the century. My godmother's home was built in the mid-1920s and my friend Penny's house appeared to be from the 1930s. My dad's childhood home dated from the turn of the century, as did the triple-decker that my aunts lived in, made with the kitchens bigger than the "parlour" that was only used for best or for television. My Maccarone cousins lived in a home that had been a wealthy man's showplace years earlier.

So when I look into Addie's home I see familiar things: beadboard in the kitchen, and the big black cookstove with the stovepipe that goes into the wall, the vintage wallpaper in the living room and the homey knicknacks, Grandma's wringer washer (almost everyone had one still tucked away in the basement for when the automatic washer didn't work) and James' stand ashtray. It brings me back to old-fashioned candle fixtures, metal kitchen cabinets, worn paisley-patterned wallpaper on stairwells with dark marks from years of hands touching it, Bakelite radios and treadle sewing machines and iceboxes pushed away in corners, lopsided sofas, traditional Morris chairs, Christmas trees still hung with lead tinsel and World War II-vintage clear Christmas ornaments paired with newfangled bubble lights, stark iron radiators with valves that needed periodic bleeding, glass paneled doors with glass doorknobs, stoves with warming shelves and hot water tanks, linoleum floors, braided rugs on hardwood floors that need refinishing, all overlaid with the faint scent of baking, coffee, and furniture polish. Warm smells and memories of family gatherings at Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving: hot coffee, steaming macaroni with homemade "gravy," freshly-baked apple pies, chatter, warmth...home. In the end it's why Addie is not just a friend I visit with each year, but part of a family I remember and rejoin each year, if, as the song says "only in my dreams."

Rudolph Day, November 2009

The purpose of Rudolph Day is to keep the Christmas spirit all year long. One can prepare Christmas gifts or crafts, watch a Christmas movie, play Christmas music, or read a Christmas book.

If you're in the United States, you've probably had a busy day, since Thanksgiving is tomorrow. But Christmas is just in hugging range...Advent begins on Sunday. Now's the time to watch some Christmas cartoons. Try

Donald Duck and Chip'n'Dale in "Toy Tinkers"

Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Chip'n'Dale in "Pluto's Christmas Tree"

Here are some of the new Christmas books I have on line to read this year:

♥ The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah, Plain and Tall

♥ 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever by Ace Collins

♥ A Christmas Promise by Anne Perry (I usually don't buy Perry's Christmas novelettes, but get them at the library, but since this one is about Gracie Phipps I made an exception.)

♥ Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb, a 1960s story that takes place in a parochial school

♥ Christmas Traditions, inspirational stories edited by Helen Szymanski

♥ Christmas Memories by Susan Waggoner, illustrated nostalgia book

♥ Christmas on the Home Front by Mike Brown (British home front during World War II!)

What's on your Christmas reading list this year?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

23 November 2009

Some Old-Time Thanksgiving Books

The Topaz Story Book, from 1928, a collection of stories, poems, and legends of "Autumn, Hallowe'en, and Thanksgiving." In flip-book format, which means you can "turn" the pages like a real book.

Our Pilgrim Forefathers: Thanksgiving Studies by Loveday A. Nelson (a flip-book) is a quaint children's schoolbook from 1904 introducing them to Thanksgiving and the legend of the Pilgrims.

Thanksgiving, a collection of origin stories, poems, and fiction gathered by Robert Haven Schauffler, from 1910, in flip-book format.

20 November 2009

Christmas Music 11-20-2009

More from the cassette collection:

• "Joy to the World!" with John Williams and the Boston Pops.
This one has Robin Williams reading "A Visit from St. Nicholas," and the wonderful tribute to Alfred Burt's carols ("This is Christmas," "Some Children See Him," etc.). I love the Burt tribute—it makes me want to throw my arms out and hug the whole world.

• "Christmas in Europe" released by LaserLight.
Ah, LaserLight. All the inexpensive compilation albums they churned out 20 years ago. This one has lots of brasses and flutes, even what sounds like accordions, plus uncommon carols sung in German and French, like "Still, Still, Still," "Ihr Kinderlein Kommet," etc..

• "On a Winter's Night: A Seasonal Collection" from Imaginary Road.
Largely New Age in style. Some good violin work where the instrument speaks so plaintively that one could cry.

• "Christmas Brass" by the Canadian Brass.
Ah, another selection from the brief time when you could find good instrumental Christmas albums strewn occasionally and ripe for picking from stacks of standard popular offerings in places like Media Play. Christmas music. Brass instruments. What else could you want?

19 November 2009

Christmas Music 11-19-2009

Today from my innumerable (okay, they're numerable—there's 68 of them) collection of Christmas cassettes:

• "Winter Creek" by Tony Elman.
From the cassette: "an instrumental collection of winter melodies and carols—English, French, Spanish, and American—featuring the hammered dulcimer with over a dozen folk instruments." These have a very "country" feel to them by way of the dulcimer, occasionally lively, but still nostalgic.

• "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
From country to jazz. This is the original album (well, along with the LP...LOL). Amazing how it's "Linus and Lucy" that has become instantly recognizable "Christmas music," instead of the more appropriate "Christmastime is Here" (which is still recognized, but not as frequently). A song that immediately takes one back to a simpler time.

• "Candlelight Carols" with the Choir of Trinity Church in Boston.
Nice selection of brass and organ, too. Recorded at the beautiful brownstone church in the Back Bay.

• "Christmas Celebration" by...various!
One of those wonderful compilation cassettes I used to be able to buy at Oxford Books [sob!!!] or Media Play [double sob!!] or even the Harvard Coop if I was passing by; orchestral arrangements with Andre Kostelanetz and the Canadian Brass and the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble. You've probably heard the lively version of "Carol of the Bells" on television commercials.

• "An International Christmas" featuring the AmorArtis Choir.
Outstanding chorale work of Christmas music from various countries. Uncommon songs not found on other albums.

18 November 2009

Christmas Music Today!

I was teleworking today and listened to the following albums:

• "Music Box Old-Fashioned Christmas" by Porter.
Music in the style of those old fashioned music boxes that had a "record" that turned, plucking the rods that made this lovely tinkling music. This was one of two music box albums we bought in Pigeon Forge at the Incredible Christmas Place. I don't think the newer Christmas songs sound as pretty music-box style, but otherwise this is nicely rippling.

• "Christmas Brass" featuring the Cathedral Brass and Capital City Brass.
I love Christmas brass! I think I found this in Big Lots or used at CD Warehouse. Trumpets and all shouting joy!

• "Christmas Wishes" by Aureole.
Last year and the year before, the XM "Classical Christmas" channel (converted from their "Pops" channel this year) continually played selections from this album. The instruments are violin, flute and harp. Yes, instrumental. I like instrumentals, especially ethereal-sounding ones like this.

• "Christmas at the Almanac Music Hall" featuring Peter Ecklund and the Howard Fishman Quartet.
I found out about this one via Yankee magazine. It's supposed to sound like the inhabitants of a small country town gathered at the local town/assembly hall and had themselves a Christmas gala, playing the classic songs on an old piano and occasionally singing along. It sounds very homey (or "homely," as the British would say) and comforting).

• "In the Christmas Mood" by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Christmas music swing! Kinda by the numbers, but very evocative of the 1940s. All you hepcats swing now!

17 November 2009

Finally, Holiday Music on XM

I don't acknowledge "those other people" who bought out XM and made the traffic reports suck (among other things). :-)

"Holly" and "Holiday Traditions" premiered together this year, which is decidedly odd. Instead of both being on their own channels as in past years, the Sirius portion of the management has fiddled with the format again. "Holly" has its own channel, but "Holiday Traditions" has taken over the 40s channel. An announcer tells you if you want to enjoy swing music in the interim, you can go to the "Siriusly Sinatra" [eyes roll]/Great American Songbook channel until December 26. These days its about 80 percent Sinatra and all boring.

I happened to turn on "Holly" just as RUN-DMC was playing. Sounded like a couple of two-year-olds banging pots.

Not sure when the classical Christmas music channel (hijacking the "Pops" channel) and the country channel (hijacking a country channel) will be starting; probably day after Thanksgiving. Leave it to Sirius to *uck up the good setup XM had.

11 November 2009

"Saint Martin and Saint Nicholas"

This is an exerpt from Cornelia De Groot's 1917 book When I Was a Girl in Holland


As you have your St. Valentine and your Hallowe'en, so we had St. Martin and St. Nicholas.

St. Martin was celebrated on November eleventh, but only in such villages and towns as had preserved ancient customs. On the evening of the eleventh, soon after we had come out of school and it was dark, we gathered a lot of dry twigs and shavings, and if possible, we procured a tarred barrel. We toted these things to a meadow right back of the village. There we built a fire and we danced and shouted around it as if we had been wild Indians. Father used to tell us of a boy who ran right through the flames of a St. Martin's fire, scorching his hair and clothes. I deplored the degenerate days I had been born in, for there was not a single boy among us children who had the courage to follow this hero's example.

When the fire was out, we walked two or three abreast, holding Chinese lanterns or a candle stuck in a turnip with a paper bag around it, somewhat resembling your pumpkins on Hallowe'en. Some of the boys had firecrackers. We sang many school songs and also a ditty about St. Martin being very cold and needing fire-wood, while we were serenading some of the village people and the nearest farmers, who rewarded us with a few cents. Later we went to the baker and bought cookies and sweets for the money and divided this amongst ourselves. Thus the fun ended.

The day of days, to us, was the sixth of December, St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas was once a bishop in Spain and beloved by all for his good deeds. That was many hundreds of years ago, but since then he is supposed to come from Spain with his black servant each December.

He is said to ride on a white horse through the air, and on the eve of the sixth, his feast day, to jump from roof to roof, where he descends through the chimney into the house. There he finds, standing in a row, the children's baskets with a tuft of hay for his horse in each of them, and he fills them with sweets and toys if the little ones have been good, with a turf and salt if they have been bad or are becoming too big to be thus remembered by him. Then he hides the baskets somewhere in the room. Noiselessly, he now climbs up through the chimney, mounts his waiting charger and visits another house.

Several mornings before the great event we would find a sort of ginger-cake called "taai-taai," in the form of a woman at the churn, Adam and Eve under the apple-tree, of a boy or a girl, or some animal, in our stockings as we awoke. In the evening, especially on the eve of the sixth, St. Nicholas himself, dressed in a long tabard with mitre on his head, followed by his black servant who carried a bag, would enter the living-room. Sometimes the good saint was dressed up so unsaintlike, resembling more a tramp-burglar than a bishop, that we little ones were frightened and hid behind mother's chair, although we quite well knew there was no such thing as a "Sinterklaas," as we called him in Frisian. He would ask whether we had been good or bad; if bad, his servant would take us along in the bag and carry us to the attic where he was supposed to keep a mill, and in this mill he would grind us to pepernoten or peppernuts, the tiny gingerbread cookies. Of course, mother always said we had been good children, and then he would open the bag and throw handfuls of pepernoten on the floor. We forgot our fear, and coming out of our hiding-places, we picked up the cookies, finding them in every corner of the room.

Early in the morning of the sixth we awoke, and in our nightclothes and on bare feet we would run into the very cold front-room and hunt for the baskets. They were hidden in some corner, behind a piece of furniture or in a closet. As soon as we had found them we carried them into the warm living room and there we examined the contents, consisting of one toy or a book for each of us, and several figures, some large, others small, of taai-taai, the brown, flat, tough cake, of which we were so fond, and which was made by the bakers all through the country on this feast of St. Nicholas only. There was always a girl, a couple of feet tall, for a boy, and a boy for a girl, and these we hung against the wall and kept for weeks sometimes. The others lasted only a few days.

Then there were figures and letters made of a sweeter kind of cake, more pepernoten, cookies, letters of sweet chocolate, and hearts of a very sweet pink or white candy, and the initial of our given name made of a deliciously light pastry, the filling of which was made of almonds and other ingredients. We called it "marsepyn." [marzipan] It was very rich and by every one considered a great delicacy. We also received a flat cake, resembling a pancake; it was sweet and decorated with gold tinsels.

We went to school early that morning to tell other children of the treasures we had received and to make comparisons. Now, for years we had known the truth about St. Nicholas; I had discovered it at the age of six, but the little comedy was kept up each year, just as a child may talk to a doll while knowing very well that it is not alive and cannot hear. And our fear of St. Nicholas when he was dressed so disreputably and growled so fiercely, was genuine, although we did not believe in him.

In school, the younger children sang a song in his honor and the teacher also gave them each a figure of taai-taai.

On the eve of St. Nicholas, many grown-ups and also some of the older children went to the baker to listen to the results of the raffle which he had been conducting. Our family usually won at least one prize, and sometimes two. These were several letters of marsepyn, taai-taai, big cakes, gigantic loaves of bread with currants, or other sweets. Small shopkeepers held raffles of toys, dry-goods and other things.

The baker that evening also conducted a sort of gambling hall in his bakery. Young and old were throwing dice to win more taai-taai and more sweets. These people never gambled at any other time, many never even played cards, yet at such a time some of them would not stop until all their available cash was gone and they had nothing to show for their folly but heaps of cakes and tarts and other sweet stuff. It was a very good day for the bakers. A few years ago, a law was passed, prohibiting this raffling and dice throwing.

We children did some impersonating St. Nicholas on our own account, too. A couple of evenings before St. Nicholas Eve we dressed up in old clothes that belonged to our mothers and older sisters, and tied before our faces masks of paper which we had cut out and colored ourselves. We put on long gloves, and, supplied with a big bag of pepernoten, went to a few of the poorest homes where there were several little tots, and, opening the front door carefully, threw handfuls of the confectionery on the floor. We must have been a queer lot of Sinterklaases, and I am sure that the fun it gave us must have far exceeded in magnitude the good and pleasure the poor children derived from the few pepernoten.

05 November 2009

"It's Fall!"

I kept forgetting to pull out my memory card and retrieve this: this wonderful little tree proclaiming "It's fall" in a field of mostly green trees. It was taken on the way to Ellijay on October 18.

04 November 2009

Autumn Poetry

"Autumn Fires"
Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

"Come Ye Thankful People, Come"
Henry Alford

Come ye thankful people come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied:
Come to God's own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God's own field
Fruit unto his praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade, and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of the harvest! grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take his harvest home;
From his field shall in that day
All offenses purge away,
Give his angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In his garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
Bring thy final harvest home;
Gather thou thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In thy presence to abide;
Come, with all thine angels, come,
Raise the glorious harvest home.

"A Calendar of Sonnets: October"
Helen Hunt Jackson

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
October, lavish, flaunts them far and near;
The summer charily her reds doth lay
Like jewels on her costliest array;
October, scornful, burns them on a bier.
The winter hoards his pearls of frost in sign
Of kingdom: whiter pearls than winter knew,
Oar empress wore, in Egypt's ancient line,
October, feasting 'neath her dome of blue,
Drinks at a single draught, slow filtered through
Sunshiny air, as in a tingling wine!

"October's Bright Blue Weather"
Helen Hunt Jackson

O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fingers tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.