The country farmer has his joys Of little city girls and boys When brother Thomas brings his brood Of motherless brats in Christmas mood To try our country air and food. And O what splendid pies and cakes Their pleased and pretty grandma makes! And O what squeals and stomach-aches! Poor Thomas shepherds him a flock Of city souls as hard as rock, And though they will not fill his larder He only preaches Christ the harder. But Ann, though seven years my niece, Is still a pagan little piece, And as she often hints to me She hates the sound of piety. Fair Inez is my ancient setter Who lies by the fire when we will let her: Alas, this amiable dog Heard all the bitter dialogue That passed between my niece and brother Misunderstanding one another. ANN: Father, what will there be for me To-morrow on the Christmas tree? Have you told Santa what to bring, My pony, my doll, and everything? THOMAS: My daughter, Santa will know best What to bring you, and what the rest. But father and his little girl And everybody in the world Should dwell to-night on higher things, For hark! the herald angel sings, And in a manger poor and lowly Lies little Jesus, high and holy. ANN: Father, don't talk of little Jesus, You're only doing it to tease us, It isn't nearly time for bed, And I want to know what Santa said. THOMAS: Jesus is better than any toys For little sinning girls and boys, For Jesus saves, but sin destroys. And O, it gives him sad surprise, There must be tears in Jesus' eyes, When little girls with bad behavior Forget to own their Lord and Savior. ANN: I didn't, you know it isn't true! I say my prayers, I always do, I know about Jesus very well, And God the Father, Heaven, and Hell. O please don't say it any more, You've said it so many times before, But tell me all about Santa instead, And about the horns on his reindeer's head, And what he will bring me on his sled. THOMAS: This night he was born on earth for us, And can my daughter mock him thus, And care more for her worldly pleasures Than Jesus' love and heavenly treasures? For Jesus didn't like to be So crowned with thorns and nailed to tree, But there was a sinful world to free, And out he went to Gethsemane-- ANN: And left the twelve and went apart-- O father, I know it off by heart, Please, father, please don't finish it out, There's so much else to talk about! I ask about Santa, and there you go, And now you're spoiling my Christmas so, And you are the wickedest man I know! Disgraceful scenes require the curtain, But lest the moral be uncertain, I briefly bring the good report That valiant Thomas held the fort, And wicked Ann was quite defeated, In vain denied, in vain entreated, In vain she wailed, in vain she wept, And said a briny prayer, and slept. While Inez, who had been perplexed To see good kinsfolk so much vexed, When peace descended on the twain, Lay down beside the fire again.