THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
(A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS)

by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the Night Before Christmas,
when all through the
Not a creature was stirring, not even a;
The were hung by the with care,
In hopes that soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And in her 'kerchief, and I in my ,
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 I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The on the breast of the new-fallen
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering should appear,
But a miniature , and eight tiny ,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be
.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now, now, now, and
On, on on, and

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 -top the coursers they flew,
With the full of toys, and too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the
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 he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like , his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a
And the of his chin was as white as the ;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,


And the smoke it encircled his head like a ;

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

,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his 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 ; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he
;

He sprang to his , 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,