The Night Before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were
hung by the chimney with care,
In the hope that St. Nicholas
soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
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 arose such a clatter,
I sprang from
the 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 the lustre of midday to objects
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
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name—
Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer! Now, Vixen!
On, Comet! On,
Cupid! On, Dunder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch, to the
top of the wall!
Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away! All!"
As dry leaves 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,
And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof
The prancing and
pawing of each tiny hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning
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
A bundle of toys he had flung on his
And he looked like a pedlar just opening his
His eyes—how they twinkled! His dimples,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose
like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn
up in 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,
the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
of his eye, and a twist of his head,
me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his
And filled all the stockings—then turned
with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
they all flew, like the down of a thistle;
heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight,
Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!"