Thursday, 24 December 2009

Twas the night before Christmas ……

The Night Before Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston


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 lustre 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 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 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."

We used to read this poem every Christmas Eve before putting a bottle of beer and some cake out for Santa Claus when he came down the chimney. I never actually realised how long a poem it was.

I would like to wish everyone in blogland a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Pip, that cheered me up.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Merry Christmas, Pip. Thanks for your kindness this year. I've really enjoyed reading your blog.

    Felix is in bed asleep, after reading this poem, and a few other Christmas stories, to him.

    Lyn
    x

    ReplyDelete
  3. we have a tradition in our family. we celebrate christmas eve with my family (a huge gathering and present fest) and then we come home, put out snacks for santa and then settle down to read "The Night Before Christmas". It's such a lovely tale. I hope you had a wonderful christmas pip, and i hope that the rest of the festive season treats you well.
    l
    x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hope you have a wonderful 2010

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment, I'll try and reply in a timely manner, usually by email, if you are a no-reply commenter then I will reply directly to your comment which means you will have to come back to see it :)