Merry Christmas!

Sly Santa Claus
Mrs. C.S. Stone

All the house was asleep,
And the fire burning low,
When, from far up the chimney,
Came down a "Ho! ho!"
And a little, round man,
With a terrible scratching,
Dropped into the room
With a wink that was catching.
Yes, down he came, bumping,
And thumping, and jumping,
And picking himself up without sign
of a bruise!

"Ho! ho!" he kept on,
As if bursting with cheer.
"Good children, gay children,
Glad children, see here!
I have brought you fine dolls,
And gay trumpets, and rings,
Noah's arks, and bright skates,
And a host of good things!
I have brought a whole sackful,
A packful, a hackful!
Come hither, come hither, come hither
and choose!

"Ho! ho! What is this?
Why, they all are asleep!
But their stockings are up,
And my presents will keep!
So, in with the candies,
The books, and the toys;
All the goodies I have
For the good girls and boys.
I'll ram them, and jam them,
And slam them, and cram them;
All the stockings will hold while the
tired youngsters snooze."

All the while his round shoulders
Kept ducking and ducking;
And his little, fat fingers
Kept tucking and tucking;
Until every stocking
Bulged out, on the wall,
As if it were bursting,
And ready to fall.
And then, all at once,
With a whisk and a whistle,
And twisting himself
Like a tough bit of gristle,
He bounced up again,
Like the down of a thistle,
And nothing was left but the prints of his shoes.
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