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The Night Before Christmas
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‘T WAS 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 heads
               For a long winter's nap—

WHEN out on the lawn
                There rose 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.

THE moon, on the breast
     Of the new-fallen snow, 
Gave a lustre of mid-day
          To objects below;

WHEN what to my wondering 
     Eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh,
             And eight tiny 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 Dunder! 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 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 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,
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,
"Merry Christmas to all,
           And to all a Good Night!"

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