by Mary A. M'Crimmon

'Twas colder than Zero on Christmas eve night,
When far off in Lapland, the great "Northern Light"
In streams of wild beauty illuminated the skies,
Like joy when it sparkles from innocent eyes.
Old Santa Claus, seeing the hour at hand
When children get sleepy all over the land,
Put eight tiny reindeer to one little sleigh,
And seizing a bundle, he started away --
For over the mountain and over the snow,
As light as a feather and swift as a roe.

At last on our chimney he drew up his team,
And stole out as silent and soft as a dream,
Lest hearing the footsteps on top of the house,
The children, all sleeping as "snug as a mouse,"
Might wake up and catch him with pockets and hat
Stuffed full of nice candy, and much more than that --
Nuts, raisins and apples, and all sorts of toys --
Exactly the thing for the girls and the boys.
As a light as a feather he came down the flue,
That seemed to grow wider to let him get through;
And there in the corner, all ranged in a row,
Were four little stockings, as white as the snow.
He smiled when he saw them, and winked his old eye,
But waited a moment and then passed them by,
To peep through the curtains of two little beds,
Where, wrapped in sweet slumber, lay four little heads;
And he read in the faces of each little pair,
Who'd acted the wisest throughout the past year.
If one had been naughty, and told a white fib --
Another got angry and tore up her bib --
If he had his parents neglected to mind,
Or she to her playmates been rude or unkind,
From them he'd have taken to give to the rest,
For "Santa Claus" always gave most to the best.

But these little fellows, it seems, had done well,
For how much he gave them I hardly can tell --
To one he gave candy, a drum, and an apple;
Another a pony -- a beautiful dapple --
Birds, baskets and dollies, with sweet flaxen curls,
Fruits, flowers and ribbons he left for the girls --
If either was slighted, I cannot tell which,
For all received something -- and no one a switch.
"Good night, little darlings," old Santa then said,
And shaking with laughter, he turned from the bed,
And mounting the chimney, he started to go
Far over the mountain and over the snow.

This happened one Christmas. I'm sorry to write,
Our ports are blockaded, and Santa, to-night,
Will hardly get down here; for if he should start,
The Yankees would get him unless he was "smart."
They beat all the men in creation to run
And if they could get him, they'd think it fine fun
To put him in prison, and steal the nice toys
He started to bring to our girls and boys.
But try not to mind it -- tell over your jokes --
Be gay and be cheerful, like other good folks;
For if you remember to be good and kind,
OId Santa next Christmas will bear it in mind.

The Home Front

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Last modified 16-April-2001