Thursday, December 1, 2022


By Ruth Plumly Thompson 

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, December 23, 1917.
Heighho! To the North,
Where the winter wind blows—
To the North, to the North,
In the country of snows,
Is the City of Chimneys,
Old Santa Claus Town;
And there isn’t a door
In the whole frosty town (really);
But of jolly red chimneys
A thousand times ten,
For the chimneys are doors
For the quaint Brownie Men,
And for dear old St. Nicholas.
Each has a bell
Or a knocker, the coming
Of company to tell;
And when there’s a ring
The wee Brownie wives say
To the wee Brownie children,
“Run now, right away,
For the chimney is ringing,
And see who is there;
But mind that the soot
Doesn’t fall in your hair.”
And tied to each chimney’s
A long-whiskered broom—
I declare there’s a chimney
For every room
In these comical cottages.
Just from a hint
I imagine they’re all
Made of peppermint!
Oh, it’s set like a heart
In a platter of snow;
What a gay little splash
Of a town it is, though!
The Christmas tree forest,
Abloom with gay balls;
The darling wee cottages
Over whose walls
The holly climbs rioting,
And the huge shop
Where the toys are all make;
Pshaw! I never can stop
Once I start to relate
Of this city of snows;
My heart gives a bounce,
And away, sir, it goes!
But pshaw, I must stop—
Merry Christmas! My dear,
My duck and my love;
And a Happy New Year!
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 17, 1918

The Supposyville Flag

The Supposy King, one day in spring,
    Was sunk in deep reflection.
Beside him sat the lovely Queen,
    The pink of all perfection.
Said he, “My dear, while we have here
    A realm of some dimensions,
Free from all care and everywhere
    Averse to all dissensions,
I find we have forgotten something
    Which in our position
Embarrasses and really is
    A serious omission!”
“What is it?” laughed the merry Queen;
    “Your highness speaks in riddles.
I thought we had just everything
    From buttonhooks to fiddles!”
“We have no flag, no emblem,”
    Sighed the King; “these colored banners
Are very well but cannot tell
    Our hopes, ideals and manners!”
The Queen, her needle poised in air,
    Grew troubled. “Let’s dispatch
A summons to the artists and
    Announce an emblem match!”
No sooner said than done. In less
    Than twenty minutes there
The artists of the nation stood
    With flowing ties and hair.
The King explained the matter and
    He begged them to design
A flag that would, in color, shape
    And message show the fine
And happy spirit of the realm.
    How paint and charcoal flew!
Upon the easels magically
    The painted banners grew.
One wrought the lovely Queen into
    A crest; another took
The King’s head; still another chose
    A crown and sceptered crook.
All worked so busily the King
    And Queen were just delighted.
Then all at once an idle one
    The kindly monarch sighted.
“Can you not think of aught to draw?”
    Thus spoke the gentle King.
The artist gave his brush a toss,
    His pencil box a fling.
Then leaning down he took a stick
    And roughly marked a line
Around a spangled flower bed.
    “This,” chuckled he, “is MINE!
A bit of our own glad green earth
    ’Broidered with posies gay.
A posy flag I give to dear
    Supposyville to-day!”
Their majesties were so much charmed
    That right upon the spot
They chose it for their emblem,
    And ’twas lovely, was it not?
And when you next behold it
    Floating from the turrets high,
You’ll surely know the thus and so,
    The wherefore and the why!
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