Monday, 24 December 2007

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

This is my favourite Christmas text of all time. I listened to it every Christmas as a child, and read it to mine. I'm sure it's out of copyright, so hopefully it is okay to share with you all!

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863)

'Twas 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 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 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 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!
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
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, 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 of 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 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 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,
And so, from me, Happy Christmas to All, and a Prosperous and Healthy 2008 (and beyond!)


Jon M said...

We read this with the kids every Christmas Eve. It's a brill poem! Happy Christmas Hesitant!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Thanks, Lisa - lovely to read this again. And many happy (and healthy) returns of the Christmas to you too!

Anonymous said...

Merry Xmas Lisa (and family)and very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2008. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xx

Pacha said...

Oh Lisa! I have been catching up with your blog this morning and am shocked by your news. I know you will beat this.

Positive stories:

My elder sister was diagnosed with Hodgekins Disease (lung) at 24 and after a year of chemo and radiotherapy she recovered. She is well now (15 years later). She even has 4 little girls (so much for her chemo affecting her fertility).

My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer a couple of years ago. And it has all cleared up and all is fine.

And it will happen to you. Sweetie. I wish you a speedy and quick recovery.

All my love and all the best for 2008!

hesitant scribe said...

I'm glad you liked the Moore piece - we watched the Shrek take on it, on BBC1 - hilarious!!!

Pacha - thank you so much! Thank you thank you thank you!