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Madison Julius Cawein


'T isn't long till Christmas now.
First thing that you'll know, it's here.
Nurse can tell it, don't know how,
By the smell o' th' atmosphere,
Shivery and never clear.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.

Boy next door, he says he knows
By the ice at morning; wow!
And the way the old wind blows,
And the way it snows and snows.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.

Cook, she knows it by her aches,
So she says, or, anyhow,
By the many cakes she bakes,
Fruit-cakes, nut- and pepper-cakes.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.

And I know it, yes, I do,
By the rooms they won't allow
Me to go in; closets, too,
They keep locked I don't know who.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.

Father says he knows it by
Money and his purse; and how
Much it takes for things, oh my!
Little boys come mighty high.
'Tisn't long till Christmas now.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.

Mother knows it, she declares,
By the sounds at night; the row
In the parlor, on the stairs
Santa carrying in his wares.
'T isn't long till Christmas now.


This poem is in the public domain.


Madison Julius Cawein (1865 - 1914) was a poet from Louisville, Kentucky, who loved to write about nature. Sometimes referred to as "the Keats of Kentucky," Madison published more than thirty books of his own work and translated numerous others written by German poets. While nature was his favorite theme--his wonderfully detailed poems about his native state's flora and fauna have been called a "veritable nature guide to the Kentucky woodlands"--Madison also wrote about a broad range of other subjects, ranging from vampires to fairies. Critically popular, internationally acclaimed, and frequently published in contemporary magazines of his day, Madison was rendered almost destitute by the stock market crash in 1912 and was forced to sell his home and much of his library collection to survive.

Post New Comment:
Yes, and I found this one--which I suspect is NOT what's referenced, but it's an intriguing creation!
Posted 12/18/2012 09:26 AM
It's hard to imagine a modern poet with the courage to continuously repeat the refrain-line. Refreshing. I found a recipe:
Posted 12/18/2012 09:07 AM
Pepper cakes - Pfeffernusse? My mom used to make these spicy, sweet cookies. I remember they were really good when dunked in coffee or tea.
Posted 12/18/2012 05:03 AM

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