The Night Before Christmas

 

The Night Before Christmas

by Clement Clarke 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 sugar plums danced in their heads.

 

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap

had just settled down 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 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, Donder 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 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.

 

As I drew in my hand 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 of 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 bowlful 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 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 stockings; then turned with a jerk

 

And laying his finger aside of his nose

and giving a 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 I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

 

The End