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The Anglish Moot

The Night Before Christmas

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'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a being was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the hearth with care,

In hopes that Holy Nick soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While swevens of sweet-plums tummed in their heads;

And mamma in her handclout, and I in my cap,

Had hardly settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clang,

I sprang from the bed to see what was wrong.

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 gloss of mid-day to all things below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should uptread,

But eight tiny reindeer, and a little sled,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a twinkling it must be Ol' Nick.

More speedy than ades his farers 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 edge! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild whirlstorm fly,

When they meet with an hinderness, climb to the sky,

So up to the house-top the farers they flew,

With the sled full of toys, and Holy Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The strutting and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was wending around,

Down the hearth Holy 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 hawker yet 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 begirted his head like a wreath;

He had a broad nebb 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 swerved with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the hearth he rose;

He sprang to his sled, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him outqueath, ere he drove out of sight,

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Gr8asb8 03:38, December 1, 2010 (UTC)

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