Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/184

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SANTA CLAUSES MISTAKE.

He looked on the bed so smooth and white ;

On the shelf, but it was not there ; Under the mantel s shadowy side ;

Up on the pantry-door ; But the little stocking he could not find

He had always found before.

He softly gathered again his gifts ;

His face was a sight to see As tears fell down on his furry coat,

And he said, " No work for me ; I m only a jolly childish saint;

I cry, but can do no more ; Only the Christ-child s tender feet

Should come to the silent door."

He stole away, but the reindeers bells He stuffed with the woolly snow,

So the stricken mother could hear him not As he softly went, and slow.

  • * * *

A timid knock at the barred door ;

A rush of the midnight air ; A pleading voice, and before them stood,

As they opened, the Christ-child fair.

I come," he said, " to the lonely arms That are vacant except for me ;

Oh take me in ; I have walked to you From the shores of Galilee.

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