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The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus



In Baltimore there
lived a boy.
He wasn't anybody's joy.
Although his name was
Jabez Dawes,
His character was
full of flaws.
In school he never
led his classes,
He hid old ladies'
reading glasses,
His mouth was open
when he chewed,
And elbows to the
table glued.
He stole the milk of
hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
He said he acted thus because
There wasn't any Santa Claus.
Another trick that
tickled Jabez
Was crying 'Boo' at
little babies.
He brushed his teeth,
they said in town,
Sideways instead of
up and down.
Yet people pardoned
every sin,
And viewed his antics
with a grin,
Till they were told by
Jabez Dawes,
'There isn't any Santa Claus!'
Deploring how he
did behave,
His parents swiftly
sought their grave.
They hurried through
the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the
funeral early.
Like whooping cough,
from child to child,
He sped to spread the
rumor wild:
'Sure as my name is
Jabez Dawes
There isn't any Santa Claus!'
Slunk like a weasel
of a marten
Through nursery and
kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
'There isn't any, no
there's not!'
The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up
his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up
his stocking
For fear of Jabez'
ribald mocking.
He sprawled on his
untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in
his head,
When presently with
scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant
jingling;
He heard the crunch
of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise
and bar the door?
A shower of soot was
on the floor.
What was beheld
by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full
of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon
his knees
With cries of 'Don't,'
and 'Pretty Please.'
He howled, 'I don't know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!'
'Jabez' replied the
angry saint,
'It isn't I, it's you that ain't.
Although there is
a Santa Claus,
There isn't any Jabez Dawes!'
Said Jabez then with
impudent vim,
'Oh, yes there is, and
I am him!
Your magic don't scare
me, it doesn't'
And suddenly he found
he wasn't!
From grimy feet to
grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-
in-the-box,
An ugly toy with
springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.
The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him,
but not with zeal.
No trace was found of
Jabez Dawes,
Which led to
thunderous applause,
And people drank a
loving cup
And went and hung
their stockings up.
All you who sneer at
Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of
Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who
mocked the saint.
Donner and Blitzen
licked off his paint.


Ring out, wild bells



Ring out, wild bells,
to the wild sky,
The flying cloud,
the frosty light;
The year is dying
in the night;
Ring out, wild bells,
and let him die.
Ring out the old,
ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells,
across the snow:
The year is going,
let him go;
Ring out the false,
ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that
saps the mind,
For those that here we
see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich
and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly
dying cause,
And ancient forms of
party strife;
Ring in the nobler
modes of life,
With sweeter manners,
purer laws.
Ring out the want,
the care the sin,
The faithless coldness
of the times;
Ring out, ring out
my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller
minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in
place and blood,
The civic slander and
the spite;
Ring in the love of truth
and right,
Ring in the common
love of good.
Ring out old shapes of
foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing
lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand
wars of old,
Ring in the thousand
years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man
and free,
The larger heart, the
kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness
of the land,
Ring in the Christ that
is to be.

 

 

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