When far off in Lapland the great Northern Light
In streams of wild beauty illumined 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–
Far 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 his 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 light as a feather he came down the flue,
That seemed to grow wider to let him get through;
And there in a corner, all ranged in a row,
Were four little stockings as white as the snow.
He smiled as 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 through 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 gives 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 mountains and over the snow.
This happened one Christmas. I’m sorry to write,
Our ports are blockaded, and Santa, tonight,
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 our boys.
But try not to mind it–tell over your jokes–
Be happy and cheerful, like other good folks;
For if you remember to be good and kind,
Old Santa next Christmas will bear it in mind.