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Then oh, what a scene there was in that room! Away went the elves, but down from the gloom Of the sooty old chimney comes tumbling low A child's whole wardrobe, from head to toe.

How Santa Claus laughed as he gathered them in,
And fastened each one to the sock with a pin.
Right to the toe he hung a blue dress,
"She'll think it came from the sky, I guess,"
Said Saint Nicholas, smoothing the folds of blue
And tying the hood to the stocking, too.

When all the warm clothes were fastened on,
And both little socks were filled and done,
Then Santa Claus tucked a toy here and there,
And hurried away to the frosty air,

Saying, "God pity the poor, and bless the dear child
Who pities them, too, on this night so wild."

The wind caught the words and bore them on high
Till they died away in the midnight sky;
While Saint Nicholas flew through the icy air,
Bringing "peace and good will" with him every-



"TWAS autumn, and the leaves were dry And rustled on the ground,

And chilly winds went whistling by,

With low and passive sound,

As through the graveyard's lone retreat,
By meditation led,

I walked with slow and cautious feet
Above the sleeping dead.

Three little graves, ranged side by side,
My close attention drew;

O'er two the tall grass bending sighed,
And one seemed fresh and new.
As lingering there I mused awhile

On death's long dreamless sleep,
And mourning life's deceitful smile,
A mourner came to weep.

Her form was bowed, but not with years,
Her words were faint and few;

And on those little graves her tears
Distilled like morning dew.

A prattling boy, some four years old,
Her trembling hand embraced;
And from my heart the tale he told
Will never be effaced.

Mamma, now you must love me more,
For little sister's dead;

And t'other sister died before,


And brother, too, you said. Mamma, what made sweet sister die; She loved me when we played. You told me if I would not cry,

You'd show me where she's laid."

""Tis here, my child, that sister lies,
Deep buried in the ground;
No light comes to her little eyes,
And she can hear no sound."
"Mamma, why can't we take her up,
And put her in my bed?

I'll feed her from my
little cup,
And then she won't be dead.
For sister 'll be afraid to lie

In this dark grave to-night;
And she'll be very cold, and cry,
Because there is no light."

"No, sister is not cold, my child,

For God, who saw her die,

As He looked down from heaven and smiled, Called her above the sky.

"And then her spirit quickly fled
To God, by whom 'twas given;
Her body in the ground is dead,
But sister lives in heaven."

"Mamma, won't she be hungry there,
And want some bread to eat?
And who will give her clothes to wear,
And keep them clean and neat?
Papa must go and carry some,
I'll send her all I've got;

And he must bring sweet sister home;
Mamma, now must he not ?"
"No, my dear child, that cannot be;
But if you're good and true,
You'll one day go to her, but she
Can never come to you.
'Let little children come to me,'
Once the good Saviour said;
And in His arms she'll always be,
And God will give her bread."



"How get them the tidings? How send them the word ?

It sets all the blood in my pulses a-shiver! The enemy near, and they cannot have heard,

For no one has crossed since the rise in the river.

"The woods are between us; there's storm in the sky!

No rider dare venture the ford till the morning. If only they knew of the danger! Yet I

Am helpless to give them a token of warning. "Ah, were I but young again!" sadly he said,

"My youth in its heyday, the mettle all in it, No weakness to chafe me, no snow on my head,— The filly and I would be off in a minute!"

A stripling beside him looked up with a flash, "Why, father, what matters the forest? I'll skim it.

What matters how fiercely the tempest may dash ? Who cares for the river? The filly can swim it. "Just think of the peril ! My brothers are there.

By daylight, at farthest, some signal shall show it. They must not, like panthers, be trapped in their lair;

And sure as I'm living, their colonel shall know it !"


The morning broke gray. At the tap of the drum The corps from their briefly snatched slumbers were shaken.

"From over the river some tidings have come,A spy from some enemy near has been taken.

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