A Visit From St. Nicholas

Night before christmasClicked Images Enlarge 'Twas the night before Christmas,
      when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
      not even a mouse;
Not a creature was stirring
The stockings were hung 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 through their heads;
The stockings were hung
long winter's nap 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 my 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.
moon The moon on the breast
      of the new-fallen snow
Gave a lustre of midday
      to objects below,
When what to my wondering
      eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh
      and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver
      so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment
      he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles
      his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted,
      and called them by name:
reindeer "Now, Dasher ! now, Dancer !
      now, Prancer and Vixen !
On, Comet ! on, Cupid !
      on, Donder and Blixen !
To the top of the porch!
      to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away!
      dash away, all!"
As leaves that before
      the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle,
      mount to the sky,
So up to the housetop
      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.
sleigh full of toys
stnick 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
      be had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler
      just opening his pack.
he looked like a pedler
stnick 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 on 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 bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump,
      a right jolly old elf,
stnick 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,
toys 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,
stnick And away they all flew
      like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim
      ere be drove out of sight—
Author: Clement Clarke Moore 1779-1863;
Original Illustrated Woodcuts: Florence Wyman Ivins
The text is that of the original (1837) edition. [Webmaster took license by adding "Rudolph" to Santa's Reinder]

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