Quiet and still sits a house on a hill
In wintry white adorned;
With a happy fire by which to retire,
Where none are ever scorned.
Upon the air hangs, crisp and fair,
A scent from the smoky plumes
That through the willows heartily billows
And throughout the forest fumes.
Out of ancient stone, its walls have grown,
The roof out of living lumber;
Its chambers are many; its stores aplenty;
It is a house that does not slumber.
Amidst the trees, who stand at ease
Beneath their snowy loads,
There stirs not a sound for miles around,
Save upon the crooked roads
Where young and old trudge through the cold
Round the smooth and winding lane,
That despite the chill is pleasant still
And leads up to the cottage gate.
The children play along the way
And laugh and josh and giggle,
Running to and fro in the downy snow,
As with glee they shout and wiggle.
While the old and gray ride in their sleighs
Recounting the greatest tales;
In verse and rhyme, they each tell the time
When first they crossed these hilly vales.
Then enter through those happy few
To whom the House is known,
Who plop and slump into wooly lumps,
Their weathered coats upon the stone.
The dancing light the heart excites
Amidst the glistening tinsel,
And illumines there all faces, fair,
Who, gathered round, there mingle.
Full of laughter and mirth there is never a dearth
Of company jolly and good.
You will laugh ’til you cry, ’til there’s pain in your sides
And you’re curled where you once had stood.
There is coffee and tea, and treats for free;
No guest shall ever lack.
There is always a seat and plenty to eat;
Those who enter shall never go back.
“Would you care to dine, or prefer only wine?”,
The Host may gladly inquire.
One or both you may chose, for you cannot lose
In a House that does not ever require.
For those who wane from the blithe refrain
Of the loud and jocund hymns,
There are tranquil lumps of pillows, plump,
That with comfort plushly brim.
Swathed in down, you shall gently drown
Beneath a furry heap;
And in a wooly bundle softly trundle
Into a fathomless sleep.
Silent and askew until morning anew
The guests of the House shall slumber,
And endlessly dream of merry scenes
That flourish without number.
Though times be strange and the seasons change,
The House does yet abide;
For it is eternal and ageless, enduring and changeless,
And its splendor shall never subside.
Of such a Home, precious little is known,
And fewer, still, have found;
For arduous is the way to the festive buffet,
The path of fabled renown.
Though throngs have sought the distant spot
Whereon the House resides,
It’s only the pure, the merry, the sure
Who the Keeper subtly guides;
For they alone will see what it truly means to be
A distinguished and honored guest
In the House of ages, the envy of sages,
By which they will be assuredly blessed.
Should you happen to find yourself inclined
To venture through its gate,
May your happiness abound in the joyful sound
That the halls of the Christmas House make.