Twas the Night before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore
Twas the night before Christmas, when 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 soon would be there.
(You know him, the big cheese of Christmas -Santa Claus.)
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
(So that tomorrow morning they would be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, in time to open all their presents.)
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
(It was cold in the bedroom and I didn't want to catch my death.)
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
(The racket certainly made me pay attention.)
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 the lustre 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.
(I had a lump in my throat, when I realized that I had been wrong all these years. There really was a Santa!)
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, on Donner and Blitzen!
(Now that's what you call dropping names.)
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
(Old St. Nick sure had those reindeer in control)
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
(They seemed to be in a in a bit of a flap.)
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
(Now that's what I call
all spruced up.)
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his
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 looked a little bit like my old man.)
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
(It was obvious he was getting on in years.)
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
(It looked like he had said,"let the good times roll" a little too often.)
He was chubby 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,
(Now that's getting to work at once.)
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
(That finger thing looked a little wonky to me.)
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
(That really caused me to
raise an eyebrow
because our chimney was pretty
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 good-night!"