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'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Posted by Barney on December 25, 2003

In Reply to: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas posted by Ward on December 25, 2003

: : An oldy but a goody (and never copyrighted so I feel I can cut and paste with impunity)

: : Wishing all of you at Phrasefinder Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and an abundant 2004. Thanks for brightening my life!

: : Camelita

: : A Visit from St. Nicholas

: : by Clement Clarke Moore
: : (1779-1863)

: : also attributed to
: : Major Henry Livingston, Jr.

: :
: : 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 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 mid-day to objects below.
: : When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
: : But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny 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, on Donner 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!"

: ::: And to you all --- here's a happy holiday wish from California, USA, where we speak a rich and especially exotic version of our favorite language.

It's a little known fact that all of Santa's reindeers are female as all have their antlers in the middle of winter.