Old Santeclaus

Original Text: 
New-Year's Present to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve (William Gilley, 1821).
2His reindeer drives this frosty night,
3O'er chimney-tops, and tracks of snow,
4To bring his yearly gifts to you.
5The steady friend of virtuous youth,
6The friend of duty, and of truth,
7Each Christmas eve he joys to come
8Where love and peace have made their home.
9Through many houses he has been,
10And various beds and stockings seen;
11Some, white as snow, and neatly mended,
12Others, that seemed for pigs intended.
13Where e'er I found good girls or boys,
14That hated quarrels, strife and noise,
15I left an apple, or a tart,
16Or wooden gun, or painted cart.
17To some I gave a pretty doll,
18To some a peg-top, or a ball;
19No crackers, cannons, squibs, or rockets,
20To blow their eyes up, or their pockets.
21No drums to stun their Mother's ear,
22Nor swords to make their sisters fear;
23But pretty books to store their mind
24With knowledge of each various kind.
25But where I found the children naughty,
26In manners rude, in temper haughty,
27Thankless to parents, liars, swearers,
28Boxers, or cheats, or base tale-bearers,
29I left a long, black, birchen rod,
30Such as the dread command of God
31Directs a Parent's hand to use
32When virtue's path his sons refuse.

Notes

1] For the attribution of this anonymously published poem to Clement Clarke Moore, see Don Foster, Author Unknown: On the Trial of Anonymous (New York: Henry Holt, 2000): 221-75. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1821
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.
Rhyme: