Monday, December 07, 2015

One Christmas Eve

By Ernestine Cobern Beyer
One Christmas Eve, I stayed up late 
And hid myself because
It was my plan to lie in wait
And watch for Santa Claus
At twelve o'clock, I heard a noise,
And peeping out real quick,
I saw the chimney raining toys
Then out fell old St. Nick!

I must have giggled once, I fear;
I quickly stopped the sound,
But smart old Santa, sharp of ear,
Suspicious, swung around.
He laughed a jolly, "Ho, ho, ho!"
Then said with twinkling eyes:
"It isn't every boy I know
Who takes me by surprise!"
Then putting me astride his back,
He bore me to his sled,
And there he gave his whip a crack,
"Heigh-ho! We're off!" he said.

We climbed down chimneys all night through,
'Cause he and I were chums;
He let me fill some stockings, too,
With dolls and sugar-plums.
And as I helped arrange the toys
That magic Christmas Eve,
I saw such wonders, girls and boys,
As you would scarce believe!

The dolls that Santa set in place
Would lift their arms up high
And tug his beard and kiss his face,
And fondly call, "Goodbye!"
Next morning when I woke in bed
I heard my mother say:
"For goodness' sake, you sleepyhead!
Wake up! It's Christmas day!"

From: Read Me a Rhyme, Please! (link)
By Barbara Beyer Malley:)


Reindeer Trouble
By Ernestine Cobern Beyer

Santa Claus, just a bit late, I believe
Was taking his usual trip, Christmas Eve,
When all of a sudden he uttered a shout
As his little red sled started lurching about.
Something had happened to startle the reindeer.
Donner, the leader, a very well-trained deer,
Had sighted a comet. (He had, on my honor . . . .)

And the comet was rapidly heading for Donner!
"Whoa!" shouted Santa--then grabbed at his cap,
But he might just as well have commanded: "Giddap!"
For Donner was dashing away in the sky,
Going so fast and so far and so high
That he very soon came to that place far away
Which angels reserve for small cherubs at play

Alarmed at the sight of the runaway sled,
Some dove into mist-banks, heels over head;
One of them happily strumming his harp,
Showed his excitement by striking a sharp!
Another so hastily fled through the blue
That he tumbled his little gold halo askew!

"Whoa, Donner, whoa!" Santa loudly repeated,
Bouncing so high he was nearly unseated!
But rolling his eyeballs and snorting aloud,
Panicky Donner just fled for a cloud,
And reaching it, tunneled it hopefully through--
Only to find that the comet had, too!
Santa, poor fellow, was wearing a frown,
For by now he was riding along upside-down.

Then Donner swerved sharply, thus righting the sled,
And tailed by the comet, went plunging ahead
'Til he presently met, looming up in his track,

A rain-swollen cloud of a thunderous black.
Towering awesomely there in the skies,

This cloud was so very enormous in size
That when it uncorked its spectacular spout,

"Glug!" said the comet--and meekly went out.

Greatly relieved, Santa straightened his cap,
Slapped at the reins, and once more cried "Giddap!"
He waved at the cherubs and winked a bright eye
As Donner turned 'round and descended the sky.

And so, just as midnight was starting to chime,
He arrived at your rooftop exactly on time!

With thanks to:
Barbara Beyer Malley
Kathie Malley-Morrison

Mrs. Santa's Surprise

By Ernestine Cobern Beyer

Mrs. Santa was tiptoeing softly around,
Trying to cook without making a sound.
Santa, you see, was asleep in his chair,
Getting rested, no doubt, for his trip in the air.
He had kicked off his boots, and she saw to her woe
That his red woolen socks were each sprouting a toe.
With her mind on this matter instead of her cooking,
She stirred up a batter without even looking!

"Holes in his socks!" said this gentle old soul,
As she emptied a shaker of salt in her bowl.
"I'll darn them tonight," was her penitent thought.
And she threw in some pepper--far more than she ought!
"I wonder," she mused, "if I've yarn of that color?"
She puzzled a moment, then tossed in a cruller,
A cupful of ketchup, some leftover pie,
And a few other things that were standing nearby.
Absentmindedly adding exactly one clove,
She then set her batter to bake in the stove.

At noon when old Santa sat down to his lunch,
He said to his wife, "I've the happiest hunch
That this dish you've prepared is a lovely surprise!"
"You're right!" she replied, looking ever so wise.
"It's surprising to me! It's a funny receipt,
Which somehow I think would be hard to repeat."
Chuckled old Santa: "It must be more fun
When you don't know what's cooking 'til after it's done!"
Well, he sampled the dish--then he gave a great cough!
His whiskers flew up and his napkin flew off!
Hearing his wheezes, the good lady guessed
That her lovely surprise wasn't one of her best.
So hastily rising, her cheeks very pink,
She poured her surprising "surprise" in the sink.
"Never mind," Santa said in his comforting way,
"I'll take you to lunch at the Penguin Cafe."

At midnight strange vapors began to arise
From the sink where the dear soul had poured her "surprise."
You see, by a chance more amusing than tragic,
She'd happened to stir up some old-fashioned MAGIC!
Taking the form of most curious vapors,
That magic at midnight was starting its capers.
Into the workroom those vapors went floating,
And all that they touched got a magical coating!

A doll in the box where she'd lately been put,
Lifted the lid with one kick of her foot.
(It startles a person unhardened to shocks
When a dolly, by golly, sits up in her box!)
Next, some tin soldiers, all stiffer than starch,
Climbed out of their carton and started to march.

"Rat-a-tat-tat!" boomed a drum in the room.
"Boom!" said a tiny toy cannon. "Boom-boom!"
"What's that?" Santa asked, sitting up in his bed
With his nightcap and tassel awry on his head.
"I thought I heard something--a gun or a drum!"
Mrs. Claus gave a yawn. "You're dreaming. Ho-hum!"
Santa returned to his slumber once more,
Just as a doll softly opened his door--

The very same dolly whose feet raised the lid
Of the tissue-filled carton in which she was hid.
Climbing the bedspread, she sat on his chest,
Smiling and nodding her prettiest best.
Then, patting his cheek, she leaned close to his ear
And whispered a soft, "Merry Christmas, my dear!"
Santa Claus stirred and he uttered a sigh;
His rosy nose twitched as if touched by a fly,
And he smiled in his sleep as, at first flush of day,
The magical vapors went floating away!

Christmas Presents



The Revolt of the Little Tin Soldiers

Santa, one year, was upset, so I hear,
And his nerves were most terribly jolted,
When one wintry morning, without any warning,
The little tin soldiers revolted.

The Captain, black-booted, clicked heels and saluted.
"I speak for my regiment, Santa!
We're refusing to go through the sleet and the snow
To Kalamazoo or Atlanta!

"My men and myself shall remain on the shelf.
I know this is strictly forbidden,
But we don't like our suits or our helmets or boots --
So, on Christmas, we plan to stay hidden!"

Cried Santa Claus: "STOP! Who's running this shop?
I never heard sillier chatter!"
He sharpened his scrutiny.
"This, sir, is mutiny!
What in tarnation's the matter?"

The captain of tin raised his little tin chin.
"Our uniforms couldn't be duller!
We're ashamed to be seen in this poisonous green!
We think we're a horrible color!"

Santa replied with a grin hard to hide,
"Your color's your only complaint, sir?"
He loosened his buckle to let out a chuckle.
"Well, that can be altered with paint, sir!"

Smiling a lot, Santa got out a pot
And worked with his paints for a minute.
Having mixed up a shade guaranteed not to fade,
He dunked the whole regiment in it.

And so, Christmas morn, no longer forlorn,
The soldiers looked ever so jolly,
Each with his puny form decked in a uniform
Brighter and redder than holly!


Tommy's Letter to Santa

Santa Claus, dressed in the loudest of vests,
Was reading his mail full of Christmas requests,
When he found Tommy's note (rather smudgy to see)
"A bonnet?" thought Santa. The rest of the note
Santa glanced at his wife and remarked with a wink,
"This Tommy deserves something special, I think!
He asks for some presents," he smilingly said,
But not for himself--for his mother, instead!"
Santa's wife reached for a jar on the table,
A jar which had "MAGIC" inscribed on its label.
She then found a box, sprinkled magic inside it,
And helped by old Santa, she carefully tied it.

When Christmas day dawned, very sparkling and pleasant,
Tommy discovered his gaily-wrapped present.

He opened it up and stared for a minute,
The box was quite empty! Not one thing was in it!
Then he noticed a card--and surprised to his socks,
He read, "Merry Christmas, my lad! Shake the box!"
Dazed and bewildered, he put on the lid,
And rattled the box just the way he was bid.

Well, I give you my word that he'd no sooner done it
Than out fell a stylish and flattering bonnet!
He shook it again, then he stared, goggle-eyed,
For out fell a dress that was seven yards wide.
Next came some rompers and booties so small,
They seemed to be made for a real baby doll!
But that wasn't all! Came a jumping-jack toy
And a book and a sweater just right for a boy!

Far off, Santa Claus and his missus were sitting,
He with his corncob and she with her knitting.
Their magical radio brought them the joys
Of the lad still delightedly finding his toys.
"That's Tommy," said Santa Claus, beaming with pride,
"He's shaking our box with the magic inside!"


Funny Face

Santa, it seems, had been working all day,
Preparing the toys he would take in the sleigh.
Weary, he glanced at the dolls on the shelf,
All of whose faces he'd painted himself.

Pleased with his work, he consulted the clock
And began to unbutton his paint-spattered smock;
But he paused as he noticed one doll he'd forgotten.
Her face was a blank little blob of white cotton.
He chuckled: "'Twould be the unkindest of tricks
To leave you in such an unfortunate fix!"
Her cheeks were so pale that he gave her a blush,
Then painting her face with his talented brush,
He remarked: "You're the prettiest doll of the year.
I must fetch Mrs. Santa to see you, my dear!"

As Santa departed, a gremlin came in.
And moved toward the doll with a mischievous grin,
Seizing a brush, he proceeded with haste
To give her a look that was more to his taste.

Dear Mrs. Santa, good-natured and chubby,
Then entered the room on the heels of her hubby.
Seeing the doll, Santa gasped with a blink:
"I never painted that comical wink!"
By jingles! A gremlin has been here, I think!"

Mrs. Santa consoled him. "Her smile is so sweet,
And her wink's so delightful, she's really a treat.
She'll make people chuckle, she'll fill them with glee,
And laughter's good medicine, don't you agree?
She's so funny, my dear, I know just what to do--
Why not give her to kids who have colds or the flu!"
On Christmas, he did this, I'm happy to tell . . .
And the little sick children all laughed themselves well!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Thanks to Barbara Beyer Malley

A Desperate Ode to Snow

Bees and buds and birds inspire
Arpeggios on my lyric lyre;
But snow, so pure, so fair to see,
Strikes no responsive chord in me!

My heart's a sentimental thing
That simply loves to think of spring,
But snow and slush just rust its string.
It doesn't give a single ping
For snow!

Yet if I sing of spring in winter
Surely I'd confuse the printer!
Thus my cheerful lyre begins
To sing of frost and biting winds . . .

Snow make a palace of a hovel
(While you struggle with the shovel!)
Snow gems the trees and crowns the hills --
And piles up heaps of heating bills!

Snow flutters softly in the air.
Snow hides all scars (I've read somewhere).
Snow is beautiful though clammy --
I am going to Miami!

Snow is something to be pleased at
(Though it's often simply sneezed at!)
I love the snow! I do, forsooth!
Expect a lyre to tell the truth?

Ernestine Cobern Beyer

Originally published on this blog on 1/20/10
With the kind permission of
Barbara Beyer Malley

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Holiday Dinner

By Ernestine Cobern Beyer

Sing ho for the turkey of pleasant renown,
Sing ho for the stuffing, deliciously brown,
Sing ho for the gravy, potatoes, and greens,
And ho for the cranberries, biscuits, and beans!

Sing ho for the celery, salad, and pickles,
And ho for the cider that tingles and tickles!
Sing ho for the walnuts and jellied preserves,
And ho for the pudding that grandmother serves;

Sing ho for the cookies fresh out of the range,
And ho - I mean WHOA! Don't you feel a bit strange?

From Read Me a Rhyme, Please!

(linked to the right:)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Solomon's Travels

By Ernestine Cobern Beyer

Solomon Solomon lived in
a house
Whose little red roof had a leak;
Its dusty old shutters were gusty with mutters,
Its gate had a shivery squeak.

No stranger or friend ever entered his door,
Which suited old Solomon, quite;
Alone (but not lonely) he did one thing only,
He read to himself day and night.

One evening, it chanced as he sat in his bed,
Propped up in his quilt with a tale,
A rumble and mumble and ominous grumble
Announced an incredible gale!
It loosened the shutters, it toppled the gate,
It hoisted the trees from the lawn!
It swooped like a giant, rip-roaring, defiant,
And scattered things hither and yon!

But Solomon Solomon chuckled and crowed
And read to himself with delight,
So he failed to perceive when his chimney took leave
And his roof sailed away like a kite!

Nor did he observe when the wind picked him up
Where he rested so cozy and warm,
And blew him, unheeding (still placidly reading!),
Aloft on the wings of the storm!

Above his abode the good gentleman rode
Unconscious of tremors and jars;
In nightcap and tassel, past cottage and castle,
He happily headed for Mars!

The crowd was excited, the blue jays affrighted,
As Solomon (reading) flew by;
And the eagles and hawks with imperious squawks
Disputed his right to the sky!

The Milky Way curdled as over he hurdled!
Astronomers, finding his range,
In awe and surprise opened scholarly eyes
At the sight of a comet so strange!

But just about day, when the wind died away,
He started a sudden descent!
Without worry or care he tobogganed the air,
Turning a page as he went.

Yes, head over heels Mr. Solomon fell,
And contrary heels over head,
Until with a flip he concluded his trip,
Somersaulting right back into bed!

Then yawning and stretching, he murmured: "Ho-hum!
What a stay-at-home body I be!"
And closing his book with a faraway look,
"I wish I could travel!" said he.

With thanks to

Ernestine's daughter,

Barbara Beyer Malley,


permission to post:)

Monday, March 30, 2015

A *Quote and a Poem

"Any scene...can be more clearly and freshly
seen when it is seen upside down."
G.K. Chesterton

Which brings to mind...

The Remedy


Ernestine Cobern Beyer

A certain king of great renown
Saw everybody upside down.
It much disturbed him day and night,
So topsy-turvy was his sight.

To try to cure the good king's eyes
There came a doctor old and wise
Who dosed the king with horrid brews,
And poured red pepper in his shoes.

These things the patient king endured,
But when the doctor cried, "You're cured!"
His Highness blinked and glumly said:
"Sir! Must you stand upon your head?"

Came other clever doctors, then,
Distinguished and important men.
"The Cold Cure is the very thing!"
Said they, "Let's try it on the king!"

They promptly wrapped him in a sheet
With lumps of ice at head and feet.
Although it was a famous one,
This cure was very little fun.

"You're healed!" they cried. "Without
a doubt,
Your sickness has been frozen out!"
But they were wrong- for all that froze
Was just the royal nose and toes.

Well, being men of great resource,
They tried the Hot Cure next, of course.
But though they baked him toe to brow,
His sole response to this was "OW!"

Then came a wizard, tall of hat,
Who cured the king as quick as that!
He simply turned him upside down
And stood His Highness on his crown.

"Hooray!" The king's relief was vast.
"You all look right side up, at last!"

* Quote from the St. Austin Review,
May/June 2008.

Post first published on this blog on 8/26/08.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Little Known Treasure

I found out about in time for Valentine's Day =)

The book Happy Animal Families,
by Ernestine Cobern Beyer.

Thanks as always to Ernestine's daughter Barbara Beyer Malley from Tears and Laughter at 90, for the info.

If you click on the link to Amazon, check out the customer images - they're two ever-so-slightly different covers... Originally posted 2/8/12

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hi Thomas

Thank you so much for changing your settings but I still can't comment on your website. But I'm glad to have the link! God bless you † rhapsody

An Interview with Joseph Pearce

via Ink Desk.

YouTube - Joseph Pearce's Conversion, clip 1

Thanks to theRochester Chesterton Society,

& an excellent tip from Peter,

who commented over @

The Blog of the American Chesterton Society.

Originally published 11/9/07.

YouTube - Joseph Pearce's Conversion - clip 2

Many thanks to the
Rochester Chesterton Society,

for their excellent work:-)

Originally published 11/9/07.


Pier One

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