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  4. Thanksgiving Day [“Over the river and through the wood”] by Lydia Maria Child
Thanksgiving Day [“Over the river and through the wood”]

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Over the river and through the wood,
    To grandfather's house we go;
         The horse knows the way
         To carry the sleigh
    Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood--
    Oh, how the wind does blow!
         It stings the toes
         And bites the nose,
    As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
    To have first-rate play.
         Hear the bells ring,
         "Ting-a-ling-ding!"
    Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
    And straight through the barn-yard gate.
         We seem to go
         Extremely slow--
    It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood--
    Now grandmother's cap I spy!
         Hurrah for the fun!
         Is the pudding done?
    Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)
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Thanksgiving Day [“Over the river and through the wood”]

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  • Lydia Maria Child ranks among the most influential of nineteenth-century American women writers. She was renowned in her day as a tireless crusader for truth and justice and a champion of excluded groups in American society—especially Indians, slaves, and women. A writer who early heeded the call for an American literature with American themes, she was a pioneer in several literary genres. She wrote one of the earliest American historical novels, the first comprehensive history of American slavery, and the first comparative history of women. In addition, she edited the first American children's magazine, compiled an early primer for the freed slaves, and published the first book designed for the elderly. Child possessed an uncanny ability for knowing exactly what the American reading public wanted and when they wanted it. She was also gifted at rendering radical ideas, such as the abolition of slavery, palatable for American readers.

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