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The Night Before Christmas


Clement 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;
The children were nestled
all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums
danced through their heads;
And Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for
a long winter's nap -
When out on the lawn there
rose 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 wall!
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
As 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 a 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.

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,
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 roses,
his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was
as white as the snow.
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 bowl full of jelly.
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 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 а 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! heard him exclaim, ere he
drove out of sight.