'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a .
The were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that soon would be there.
The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of danced in their heads.
And Ma in her kerchief, and I in my
Had just settled down for a long winter's 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 shutter and threw up the sash!
The on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave a luster of mid-day to objects below.
When what to my wandering eyes should appear
But a miniature
And eight tiny ,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, it must be !
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 full of toys,
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
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 ,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot!
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 ,
His nose like a
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a
And the beard on his chin was a white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in this teeth.
And the smoke it encircled his head like a .
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed,
Like a bowl full of
He was chubby and plump --
A right jolly old ,
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
then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod ---
Up the he rose!
He sprang to his
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:
"AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT!"