Monday, 5 December 2016

Poetry Revisited: A Song for Saint Nicholas by Mary Mapes Dodge

A Song for Saint Nicholas

(from Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates: 1865)

Welcome, friend! St. Nicholas, welcome!
Bring no rod for us to-night!
While our voices bid thee welcome,
Every heart with joy is light.

“Tell us every fault and failing;
We will bear thy keenest railing
So we sing, so we sing:
Thou shalt tell us everything!

“Welcome, friend! St. Nicholas, welcome!
Welcome to this merry band!
Happy children greet thee, welcome!
Thou art gladdening all the land.

“Fill each empty hand and basket;
‘Tis thy little ones who ask it.
So we sing, so we sing:
Thou wilt bring us everything!”

Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905)
American children's writer and editor


  1. Brings back my childhood feelings about Christmas!

    1. Yes, the poem evokes childhood memories - but not of Christmas in my case. In Austria Saint Nicholas has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. He has his own feast on 6 December and he brings only small presents for the children unless they have been naughty and "Krampus" (a devil or demon) takes them with him in his tub... unfortunately, this original story is slowly getting lost to avoid terrifying the children. I've never been scared! It was just exciting although I've always been quite a chicken.


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