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The Night Before Christmas
--Clement Clarke Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, and 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 Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplumbs danced through their heads.

And Mama in her `kerchief and I in my cap
Had just settled our brains for a long Winter's nap.
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 fled like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the appearance 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 Donder 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 housetop the couriers they flew, 
With the sleigh full of toys and Saint 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 Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in furs from his head to his foot,
And his cloths 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 in 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 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 a 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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