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Page 403

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
THE PUMPKIN

Oh-fruit loved of boyhood!-the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly- faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin-our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who traveled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present!-none sweeter or better
E'er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine;
Brighter eyes never watched o'er its baking, than thine !
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less;
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below;
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow;
And thy life be as sweet, and its last slmset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Discussion. 1 Which line tells where the gourd and melon vines are found? 2. Explain the reference to Jonah, "Nineveh's prophet" (See Jonah IV, 4-11). 3. Which line tells that the Yankee delights in his pumpkin crop? 4. What "calls back the past" on Thanksgiving
Day? 5. Why does boyhood love the pumpkin? 6. Find lines that you think refer to "Cinderella." 7. To whom do you imagine the poet addresses the last stanza? 8. Read the poet's prayer. 9. What is com
pared to the pumpkin pie in this prayer? 10. How did the artist illustrate this poem on page 400? 11. Commit to memory the third stanza. 12. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: greenly; gourd; Creole; crooknecks; matron. 13. Pronounce: purpling; pumpkin.

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