Santa Claus will come to-night

WHILE ago the silent house
Re-echoed with their voices sweet—
The music that their laughter made,
The patter of their little feet.
Outside, the wintry winds blew shrill,
And all around the snow lay white;
But little cared they for the storm,
For 'Santa Claus will come to-night.'

We heard them running to and fro,
So eager in their merry glee
To hang their stockings, limp and long,
Where 'he' will be most sure to see.
Such wondrous fairy-tales they weave,
Such pictures of those far-off shores
From whence each Christmas-tide there comes
Their unknown friend, and all his stores.

Now they are all in Slumberland,
And Mother comes, with noiseless tread,
For one last kiss; the shaded light
Gleams softly o'er each curly head.
A rustle, and a murmur low;
Half-opened are the dreaming eyes.
'Hush! hush! it's only Mother, dear!'
''Tis Santa Claus!' the sleeper sighs.

To-morrow, when the dawning light
Breaks through the wintry eastern skies,
What joy will greet the morning bright,
What happy hearts and sweet surprise!
And we, whose childhood long since fled,
Would fain entreat old Time to pause,
To give us back our childish faith,
And simple trust in Santa Claus.