A bishop and a preacher too, a famous
He stood against the Arian crew and fought them like a Trojan:
But when a poor man told his need and begged an alms in trouble,
He never asked about his creed, but quickly gave him double.
Three pretty maidens, so they say, were longing to be married;
But they were paupers, lack-a-day, and so the suitors tarried.
St. Nicholas gave each maid a purse of golden ducats chinking,
And then, for better or for worse, they wedded quick as winking.
Once, as he sailed, a storm arose;
wild waves the ship surrounded;
The sailors wept and tore their clothes, and shrieked “We’ll all be
St. Nicholas never turned a hair; serenely shone his halo;
He simply said a little prayer, and all the billows lay low.
The wicked keeper of an inn had three small urchins taken,
And cut them up in a pickle-bin, and salted them for bacon.
St. Nicholas came and picked them out, and put their limbs together,—
They lived, they leaped, they gave a shout, “St. Nicholas forever!”
And thus it came to pass, you know, that maids without a nickel,
And sailor-lads when tempest blow, and children in a pickle,
And every man that’s fatherly, and every kindly matron,
In choosing saints would all agree to call St. Nicholas patron.
He comes again at Christmas-time and stirs
us up to giving;
He rings the merry bells that chime good-will to all the living;
He blesses every friendly deed and every free donation;
He sows the secret, golden seed of love through all creation.
Our fathers drank to Santa Claus, the
sixth of each December,
And still we keep his feast because his virtues we remember.
Among the saintly ranks he stood, with smiling human features,
And said, “Be good! But not too good to love your fellow-creatures!”
December 6, 1907.
An Ode for the “Farmer’s Dinner,”
University Club, New York,
January 23, 1913
All hail, ye famous Farmers!
Who know the art of making barren earth
Smile with prolific mirth
And bring forth twins or triplets at a birth!
Ye scientific fertilizers of the soil,
And horny-handed sons of toil!
To-night from all your arduous cares released,
With manly brows no longer sweat-impearled,
Ye hold your annual feast,
And like the Concord farmers long ago,
Ye meet above the “Bridge” below,
And draw the cork heard round the world!