THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
‘Twas th’ night befo’e Jedtmas, when all through th’ house
Not a creature was stirrin’, not even a mouse;
Th’ stockin’s were hung by th’ chimney wif care,
In hopes thet St. Nicholas soon’d be thar;
Th’ chillun were nestled all snug in their beds,
While vishuns of sugar-plums danced in their haids;
An’ mamma in her ‘kerchief, an’ ah in mah cap,
Had jest settled down fo’ a long winter’s nap,
When out on th’ lawn thar arose sech a clatter,
ah sprang fum th’ bed t’see whut was th’ matter.
Away t’th’ window ah flew like a flash,
To’e open th’ shetters an’ threw up th’ sash.
Th’ moon on th’ breast of th’ noo-fallen snow
Gave th’ lestre of mid-day t’objecks below,
When, whut t’mah wonnerin’ eyes sh’d appear,
But a miniature sleigh, an’ eight tiny reindeer,
Wif a li’l old drivah, so lively an’ quick,
ah knowed in a moment it muss be St. Nick. Shet mah mouth!
Mo’e rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
An’ he whistled, an’ shouted, an’ called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! Fry mah hide! now, Dancer! Fry mah hide! now, Prancer an’ Vixen! Fry mah hide!
On, Comet! Fry mah hide! on Cupid! Fry mah hide! on, Donner an’ Blitzen! Fry mah hide!
To th’ top of th’ po’ch! Fry mah hide! t’th’ top of th’ wall! Fry mah hide!
Now dash away! Fry mah hide! dash away! Fry mah hide! dash away all! Fry mah hide!”
As dry leaves thet befo’e th’ wild hurricane fly,
When they meet wif an obstacle, mount t’th’ sky,
So up t’th’ house-top th’ coursers they flew,
Wif th’ sleigh full of toys, an’ St. Nicholas too.
An’ then, in a twinklin’, ah heard on th’ roof
Th’ prancin’ an’ pawin’ of etch li’l hoof.
As ah drew in mah haid, an’ was turnin’ aroun’,
Down th’ chimney St. Nicholas came wif a boun’.
He was dressed all in fur, fum his haid t’his foot,
An’ his clo’es were all tarnished wif ashes an’ soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
An’ he looked like a peddler jest openin’ his pack. Shet mah mouth!
His eyes — how they twinkled! Fry mah hide! his dimples how merry! Fry mah hide!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! Fry mah hide!
His droll li’l mouth was drawn up like a bow,
An’ th’ bard of his chin was as white as th’ snow;
Th’ stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
An’ th’ smoke it incircled his haid like a wreath;
He had a broad face an’ a li’l roun’ belly,
Thet shook, when he laughed like a bow’ful of jelly.
He was chubby an’ plump, a right jolly old e’f,
An’ ah laughed when ah sar him, in spite of mahse’f;
A wink of his eye an’ a twist of his haid,
Soon gave me t’knows ah had nothin’ t’dread;
He spoke not a wo’d, but went straight t’his wawk,
An’ filled all th’ stockin’s; then turned wif a jerk,
An’ layin’ his finger aside of his nose,
An’ givin’ a nod, up th’ chimney he rose;
He sprang t’his sleigh, t’his team gave a whistle,
An’ away they all flew like th’ down of a thistle.
But ah heard him exclaim, ere he drove outta sight,
“Happy Jedtmas t’all, an’ t’all a fine-night.”
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