‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE

 

 

 

 

 

  Reader 1     '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. Nich-o-las soon would be there.

 

  Reader 2     The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

               While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads,

               And Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap

               Had just settled in for a long winter's nap,

 

  Reader 3     When out on the lawn there arose 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.

 

  All          The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

               Gave a luster of midday 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.

 

  Reader 4     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, Donder and Blitzen!

               To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!

               Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

 

  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. Nich-o-las, too.

 

  Reader 5     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. Nich-o-las came with a bound.

 

  All          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.

 

  Reader 6     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.

 

  Reader 7     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.

 

  All          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,

               "Happy Christmas to all and to all a good-night!"