||Monday, January 1, 2001
||Night before Christmas
||A visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement Clarke Moore
"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Not a creature was stirring, nor even a mouse. Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot:
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap-- His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
Tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash. And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow He had a broad face and a little round belly
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below; That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly,
When what to my wondering eye should appear He was chubby and plump--a right jolly old elf:
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, And I laughted when I saw him, in spite of myself.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick! Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name. And filled all the stockings: then turned with a jerk,
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! And laying a finger aside of his nose,
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen!-- And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall, He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!" And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, But I heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
So, up to the housetop the courses they flew,
With a sleight 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.