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  March 30, 2020
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Printable Thanksgiving poems for kids - children's printable poetry for Thanksgiving

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Home > Holidays > Thanksgiving > Poems, Rhymes and Recitals > The Corn Song

Thanksgiving Poems for Teachers - Printable Children's Thanksgiving PoetryThe Corn Song

by John Greenleaf Whittier

The Corn Song

Heap high the farmer's wintry hoard!
Heap high the golden corn!
No richer gift has Autumn poured
From out her lavish horn!

Let other lands, exulting, glean
The apple from the pine,
The orange from its glossy green,
The cluster from the vine;

We better love the hardy gift
Our rugged vales bestow,
To cheer us when the storm shall drift
Our harvest-fields with snow.

Through vales of grass and meads of flowers
Our plows their furrows made,
While on the hills the sun and showers
Of changeful April played.

We dropped the seed o'er hill and plain,
Beneath the sun of May,
And frightened from our sprouting grain
The robber crows away.

All through the long, bright days of June
Its leaves grew green and
fair, And waved in hot midsummer's noon
Its soft and yellow hair.

And now, with Autumn's moonlit eves,
Its harvest-time has come;
We pluck away the frosted leaves,
And bear the treasure home.

Then shame on all the proud and vain
Whose folly laughs to scorn
The blessing of our hardy grain,
Our wealth of golden corn!

Let earth withhold her goodly root,
Let mildew blight the rye,
Give to the worm the orchard's fruit,
The wheat-field to the fly;

But let the good old crop adorn
The hills our fathers trod;
Still let us, for his golden corn,
Send up our thanks to God!



  1. Poets help you to see beauty in things that might otherwise seem common. The yellow violet is less showy than the chrysanthemum, but the poet writes of the violet. The pineapple, the orange, the grape, seem more interesting than the yellow corn of the fields, but here is a poem about one of the commonest of farm crops. To whom is the poet speaking in the first two stanzas? Point out some of the poet's fancies in this poem.
  2. Is all corn "golden"? What other kinds have you seen?
  3. Name other gifts autumn brings us.
  4. Why is the corn a "hardy gift"? What other words or phrases in the poem suggest the same idea?
  5. What do we call the "apple from the pine"?
  6. What clusters are picked from vines?
  7. In what "other lands" do these fruits grow?
  8. Where was Whittier's home?
  9. What do you know of the soil and climate of New England?
  10. Find the line that tells when we plant the corn.
  11. Find the lines that tell when we harvest the corn.
  12. What is the "yellow hair" the corn waves in summer?
  13. What does the poet mean by "frosted leaves"?
  14. What does he think of those who scorn the blessing of the corn?
  15. What wish does the poet express in the last stanza?
  16. What service did our farmers and boys and girls on the farms perform during the World War?
  17. On page 291 you were asked to notice the way in which these American authors have expressed their thoughts; does Whittier's use of rime add to the beauty of his "song" about corn? Point out some of the lines that rime.
  18. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: glean; hardy; meads; furrows; frosted; mildew; adorn.

Pronounce: hoard; lavish; glossy; root.

Phrases for Study

wintry hoard, rugged vales bestow, lavish horn, changeful April, exulting, glean, folly laughs to scorn, hardy gift, goodly root.


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