“Jest ‘fore Christmas” a Poem by Eugene Field

Eugene Field (1850-1895), has been one of America’s best-loved children’s poets for over 100 years,. His most famous works include “Little Boy Blue”, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” and “The Duel”.

At Christmas time, fans of Eugene Field particularly enjoy “Jest ‘fore Christmas”. Here it is…

Jest ‘fore Christmas

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,
Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!
Mighty glad I ain’t a girl—ruther be a boy,
Without them sashes, curls, an’ things that’s worn by Fauntleroy!
Love to chawnk green apples an’ go swimmin’ in the lake—
Hate to take the castor-ile they give for bellyache!
‘Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain’t no flies on me,
But jest ‘fore Christmas I’m as good as I kin be!

Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat;
First thing she knows she doesn’t know where she is at!
Got a clipper sled, an’ when us kids goes out to slide,
‘Long comes the grocery cart, an’ we all hook a ride!
But sometimes when the grocery man is worrited an’ cross,
He reaches at us with his whip, an’ larrups up his hoss,
An’ then I laff an’ holler, “Oh, ye never teched me!”
But jest ‘fore Christmas I’m as good as I kin be!

Gran’ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man,
I’ll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan,
As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon’s Isle,
Where every prospeck pleases, an’ only man is vile!
But gran’ma she has never been to see a Wild West show,
Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she’d know
That Buff’lo Bill an’ cowboys is good enough for me!
Excep’ jest ‘fore Christmas, when I’m good as I kin be!

And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemnlike an’ still,
His eyes they seem a-sayin': “What’s the matter, little Bill?”
The old cat sneaks down off her perch an’ wonders what’s become
Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum!
But I am so perlite an’ tend so earnestly to biz,
That mother says to father: “How improved our Willie is!”
But father, havin’ been a boy hisself, suspicions me
When, jest ‘fore Christmas, I’m as good as I kin be!

For Christmas, with its lots an’ lots of candies, cakes, an’ toys,
Was made, they say, for proper kids an’ not for naughty boys;
So wash yer face an’ bresh yer hair, an’ mind yer p’s and q’s,
An’ don’t bust out yer pantaloons, and don’t wear out yer shoes;
Say “Yessum” to the ladies, and “Yessur” to the men,
An’ when they’s company, don’t pass yer plate for pie again;
But, thinkin’ of the things yer’d like to see upon that tree,
Jest ‘fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!

So remember to be good boys and girls! Santa Claus is coming to town!

-Lisa

Come visit Mama Lisa’s Eugene Field Page for more Eugene Field poems.

This article was posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2005 at 12:01 pm and is filed under Christmas, Christmas Poems, English, Eugene Field, Holidays Around the World, Jest 'fore Christmas, Jest 'fore Christmas, Languages, Poetry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to ““Jest ‘fore Christmas” a Poem by Eugene Field”

  1. Maggie Rose Says:

    THANKS SOOOOO much for publishing Jest ‘Fore Christmas.. My mom used to read it to me when I was a child and I loved it, (and that was over 50 years ago) I have wanted to find it to read to my grandaughter, Hope she will remember it as fondly as I.

Leave a Reply