Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

See and share Beautiful Nature Photos and amazing photos of interesting places

Santa Claus

Written by: Andrew Barton Paterson | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 "HALT! Who goes there?” The sentry’s call 
Rose on the midnight air 
Above the noises of the camp, 
The roll of wheels, the horses’ tramp. 
The challenge echoed over all— 
“Halt! Who goes there?” 
A quaint old figure clothed in white, 
He bore a staff of pine, 
An ivy-wreath was on his head. 
“Advance, oh friend,” the sentry said, 
“Advance, for this is Christmas night, 
And give the countersign.” 

“No sign nor countersign have I, 
Through many lands I roam 
The whole world over far and wide, 
To exiles all at Christmastide, 
From those who love them tenderly 
I bring a thought of home. 

“From English brook and Scottish burn, 
From cold Canadian snows, 
From those far lands ye hold most dear 
I bring you all a greeting here, 
A frond of a New Zealand fern, 
A bloom of English rose. 

“From faithful wife and loving lass 
I bring a wish divine, 
For Christmas blessings on your head.” 
“I wish you well,” the sentry said, 
“But here, alas! you may not pass 
Without the countersign.” 

He vanished—and the sentry’s tramp 
Re-echoed down the line. 
It was not till the morning light 
The soldiers knew that in the night 
Old Santa Claus had come to camp 
Without the countersign.