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Last Christmas Was A Year Ago
by [?]

By time we’d “howdyed” round, and shuck
Hands with the neighbors, must ‘a’ tuck
A half-hour longer: ever’ one
A-sayin’ “Christmas-gift!” afore
David er me–so we got none.
But David warmed up, more and more,
And got so jokey-like, and had
His sperits up, and ‘peared so glad,
I whispered to him, “S’pose you ast
A passel of ’em come and eat
Their dinners with us.–Girls ‘s got
A full-and-plenty fer the lot
And all their kin.” So David passed
The invite round. And ever’ seat
In ever’ wagon-bed and sleigh
Was jes packed, as we rode away–
The young folks, mild er so along,
A-strikin’ up a sleighin’ song.
Tel David laughed and yelled, you know,
And jes whirped up and sent the snow
And gravel flyin’ thick and fast–
Last Christmas was a year ago.
W’y, that-air seven-mild ja’nt we come–
Jes seven mild scant from church to home–
It didn’t ‘pear, that day, to be
Much furder railly ‘n ’bout three.

But I was purty squeamish by
The time home hove in sight and I
See two vehickles standin’ there
Already. So says I, “Prepare!”
All to myse’f. And presently
David he sobered; and says he,
“Hain’t that-air Squire Hanch’s old
Buggy,” he says, “and claybank mare?”
Says I, “Le’s git in out the cold–
Your company’s nigh ’bout froze.” He says,
“Whose sleigh’s that-air a-standin’ there?”
Says I, “It’s no odds whose–you jes
Drive to the house and let us out,
‘Cause we’re jes freezin’, nigh about.”
Well, David swung up to the door
And out we piled. At first I heerd
Jane’s voice; then Lide’s–I thought afore
I reached that girl I’d jes die, shore;
And when I reached her, wouldn’t keered
Much ef I had, I was so glad,
A-kissin’ her through my green veil,
And jes excitin’ her so bad
‘At she broke down, herse’f–and Jane
She cried–and we all hugged again.
And David–David jes turned pale!–
Looked at the girls and then at me,
Then at the open door–and then
“Is old Squire Hanch in there?” says he.
The old Squire suddently stood in
The doorway, with a sneakin’ grin.
“Is Perry Anders in there, too?”
Says David, limberin’ all through,
As Lide and me both grabbed him, and
Perry stepped out and waved his hand
And says, “Yes, pap.” And David jes
Stooped and kissed Lide, and says, “I guess
Your mother’s much to blame as you.
Ef she kin resk him, I kin too.”

The dinner we had then hain’t no
Bit better’n the one to-day
‘At we’ll have fer ’em. Hear some sleigh
A-jinglin’ now.–David, fer me,
I wish you’d jes go out and see
Ef they’re in sight yit. It jes does
Me good to think, in times like these,
Lide’s done so well. And David he’s
More tractabler ‘n what he was
Last Christmas was a year ago.