"Your birds all sound quite
With gay, bright-colored quills;
With tuneless songs and stumpy legs,
And funny, out-size balls!"
"But none of these surprises me
Your birds or flowers or bees;
It takes my breath, though, hearing how
Your melons grow on trees!"
"I'd like to visit your Panama
If it weren't so far away;
I'd like to sail warm, tropic seas
Where flying fishes play!"
"I'd like to drink some cocoanut
Eat pineapples cut into slits;
I'd like to quaff off some Atlas beer
And visit your Kelly's Ritz!"
"I'd like to see policemen
Beneath their wide umbrellas;
I'd like to see Hindus and Chinks
And other foreign fellows!"
"I'd love to see some palm-thatched huts
On fincas (tiny ranches);
I'd like to see fence posts that sprout
And grow up into branches!"
"But - change my sleigh for an
Give up my snowy Christmas?
Not this year, Friend, though I'd like to see
Your lovely, tropic Isthmus!"
||The jolly old elf shook a negative head,
"Your folks may feel sorry, no doubt,
That I can't go down there in person this year
But I do have a clever way out -
gifts with you for the folks on the Zone,
To see that they have a fine Christmas;
And then I'll appoint me an agent down there
Who'll do all my work on the Isthmus!"
"Now first comes this gift for your
(He'd like it, I think, in a hurry);
Just give this to him with old Santa's regards
One whole day to rest - free from worry!"
"For the women down there, (You
see, Santa knows
What a lady always stresses),
I am sending a trunk filled with parties and teas,
And dances, and pretty dresses!"
"To the men who always seem to
That live is a bit contrary,
I am sending a way to make their wives
Go light on the commissary!"
"To the Isthmian kids, I send warm
And nights that are cool and breezy;
Some dolls and tops and drums and horns,
And arithmetic that's easy!"