T'was The Night Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas would soon be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

And Mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winters nap.

When out on the lawn 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 breast of the new fallen snow,

Gave a luster of mid-day to objects below.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,

And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!

On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall,

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky.

So up to the housetop the coursers they flew,

With a sleigh full of toys and St Nicolas too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

And as I drew in my head and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicolas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

His droll little mouth was drawn up in a bow,

And the hair on his head was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe, he held in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

He had a broad face, and a round little belly,

That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.

He was jolly and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know, I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!"

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