A Visit From The Judges' Chair
By Robert B. Martin, Jr.
'Twas the night 'for the rose show,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse;
The roses were lined in the cooler with care
In hopes that the Queen of Show might be found there;
And Mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a very short nap.
When out in the garden there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash,
The moon on the roses which shown with a glow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below;
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a Plymouth Caravan and eight volunteers,
With a little old driver with a manner and flair,
I knew in a moment it must be THE CHAIR.
More rapid than eagles his minions they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Come, Dasher! come, Dancer! come Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the driveway! up to the garage!
He led them all on - the whole entourage.
So up to the cooler the judges they flew
With a tray full of ribbons and THE CHAIRMAN there too
He was dressed all in medals from his head to his foot
And his clothes were well pressed right down to his boot
His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little mouth was drawn up in a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pencil he held tight in his hand
And he held his head high with the air of command.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly,
That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump; a right jolly old elf;
And I laughed, when I saw him, in spite of myself.
They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
They judged all the roses - then turned with a jerk,
And eying them all with a vision so keen
And giving a nod, declared one of them Queen.
He then sprang to his van, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down off a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight
Good Roses to All! And to all a Good Night!