Lines to a Little Boy on Christmas Day


The air is still, there is no sound,
White are the roofs, and white the ground,
And soft white flakes fall all around.

A brilliant ceiling overhead
When you lift up hour curly head
And look from out your cosy bed.

Not long you lie when once awake
For there’s a stocking down to take,
With sweets and toys and things to make.

An apple and an orange too,
And three and four, and all for you,
Of nuts and choc’lates not a few.

And soldiers in their coats of red,
A regiment upon the bed:
But glad to say no blood is shed.

And then at last a big fat book
Inside of which you darenot look
For fear of meeting Captain Hook.

Then mother calls, you must get up,
There’s clothes to don and milk to sup,
There’s hands to wash and likewise cup.

But this is done and you are free
To run about at liberty,
And maybe have a little spree

Out in the snow so soft and white,
You pelt the others with delight,
And snowballs fling with all your might.

Your face is stung, your ears a-glow,
You feel so warm there as you throw
And roll about in the cold snow.

And then you hear, ‘tis sad to tell,
The interrupting dinner bell,
And like it not though knowing full well

There’s goose or turkey, stuffing too,
And rich plum pudding, some for you,
A seven-course dinner to get through.

‘Tis hard to leave your snowball play,
But harder still to get away
When dinner’s done on Christmas Day.

You drag a chair up to the fire,
And read of dreadful deeds and dire,
But soon of reading you will tire.

Your eyelids close, you drop the book,
You do not red of Captain Hook;
You’re fast asleep if we but look.

And when you wake it’s growing dark,
Seems too much trouble for a lark
Again out in the snowy park.

But anyway, it’s time for tea,
But you too full of dinner be
To eat anything hungrily.

Then after tea you hear a hum
Of voices; aunt and uncle’s come
And brought your cousins and a drum,

A box of paints, a clockwork train;
You wind it up, again, again,
And wish the floor was the lane.

You paint your cousin’s face for him
And he becomes a villain grim,
Your uncle says “You little limbz”

You bang the drum and march and march
Your legs as stiff as clothes with starch,
Passing beneath a triumph arch.

For supper these before your eyes –
Trifles and cakes, jellies and pies,
And when you’ve done you cannot rise.

And then Aunt Sue and Uncle Joe
With cousin Tom get up to go,
And you just wave your hand that slow,

So very full you have not stirred,
And so to bed without a word;
Then your deep breathing soon is heard.