And the crops may fail and leave us with our plans
all knocked ter smash,
And the mortgage may hang heavy, and the bills use up the cash,
But whenever comes the season, jest so long’s we’ve got a dime,
There’ll be somethin’ in that stockin’—won’t there, Mary?—every time.
And if in amongst our sunshine there’s a shower or two of rain,
Why, we’ll face it bravely smilin’, and we’ll try not ter complain,
Long as Christmas comes and finds us here together, me and you,
With the little feller’s stockin’ hangin’ up beside the flue.
* * * * *
THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER
You know the story—it’s centuries
How the Ant and the Grasshopper met, we’re told,
On a blustering day, when the wind was cold
And the trees were bare and brown;
And the Grasshopper, being a careless blade,
Who all the summer had danced and played,
Now came to the rich old Ant for aid,
And the latter “turned him down.”
It’s only fancy, but I suppose
That the Grasshopper wore his summer clothes,
And stood there kicking his frozen toes
And shaking his bones apart;
And the Ant, with a sealskin coat and hat,
Commanded the Grasshopper, brusque and flat,
To “Dance through the winter,” and things like that,
Which he thought were “cute” and “smart.”
But, mind you, the Ant, all summer long,
Had heard the Grasshopper’s merry song,
And had laughed with the rest of the happy throng
At the bubbling notes of glee;
And he said to himself, as his cash he lent,
Or started out to collect his rent,
“The shif’less fool do’n’t charge a cent,—
I’m getting the whole show free.”
I’ve never been told how the pair came out—
The Grasshopper starved to death, no doubt,
And the Ant grew richer, and had the gout,
As most of his brethren do;
I know that it’s better to save one’s pelf,
And the Ant is considered a wise old elf,
But I like the Grasshopper more myself,—
Though that is between we two.
* * * * *
Once, by the edge of a pleasant pool,
Under the bank, where ’t was dark and cool,
Where bushes over the water hung,
And grasses nodded and rushes swung—
Just where the brook flowed out of the bog—
There lived a gouty and mean old Frog,
Who’d sit all day in the mud, and soak,
And do just nothing but croak and croak.
’Till a Blackbird whistled: “I say,
What is the trouble down there below?
Are you in sorrow, or pain, or what?”
The Frog said: “Mine is a gruesome lot!
Nothing but mud, and dirt, and slime,
For me to look at the livelong time.
’Tis a dismal world!” so he sadly spoke,
And voiced his woes in a mournful croak.