Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • The Leaves Give Thanks

    From The Topeka State Journal, October 29, 1912.
    By Georgia Wood Pangborn.
     All the cheerful little leaves
       Were lying mute and slain,
     Their tender summer faces
       Marred with age and pain.
     Through the threadbare forest
       Strode the wind and rain.
     I wept because the sky was gray,
       Because the leaves were dead,
     Because the winter came so fast,
       And summer’s sweet was sped;
     And because I, too, was mortal—
       “All flesh is grass,” I said.
     But while I was lamenting
       The woods began to sing.
     The voice of all dead leaves came up
       As when they sang in Spring:
     “Praise God,” they sang, “for Winter
       And stormy harvesting:
     “Praise God, who uses old things
       To serve the new things’ need
     And turns us into earth again
       That next year’s roots may feed;
     Roots but for us and our decay
       Would shrivel in the seed.
     “To the thousand summers
       Our summer has been thrust,
     But the snow is very gentle
       Above its rags and rust.
     Lie down, lie down, oh, brothers,
       With the thousand summers’ dust.”