Edited from Clement Clarke Moore’s Original
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the barns
It’s business as usual, on a dairy farm;
The stockings were hung by the parlor with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The cows were nestled all snug in their sand beds,
While visions of summer-sun danced in their heads;
The milkers are bundled up for the storm,
They are settling into their shift and will be milking ’til Christmas ‘morn,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from the parlor to see what was the matter.
Away to the window they 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 their wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
They 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 field! to the top of the hill!
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 barn-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of corn, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, they heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As they drew in their hands, and turned around,
Down the cupola 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 corn 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 they laughed when they saw him, in spite of themselves;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave them to know they 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 cupola 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 they heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!