• ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house..

  • In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

  • While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

  • While mamma in her ‘kerchief

  • Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

  • Away to the window I flew like a flash,

  • 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

  • With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

  • More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

  • 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

  • As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

  • 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.

  • The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

  • He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

  • A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

  • And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose,

  • 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,