THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS) by Clement Clarke Moore THE MILLENN

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THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS) by Clement Clarke Moore THE MILLENNIUM FULCRUM EDITION (C)1988 '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! 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 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, "HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT." JEST 'FORE CHRISTMAS by Eugene Field THE MILLENNIUM FULCRUM EDITION (C)1988 Father calls me William, sister calls me Will, Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill! Mighty glad I ain't a girl -- ruther be a boy, Without them sashes, curls, an' things that's worn by Fauntleroy! Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake -- Hate to take the castor-ile they give for belly-ache! 'Most all the time the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me, But jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be! Got yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat; First thing she knows she doesn't know where she is at! Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide, 'Long comes the grocery cart, an' we all hook a ride! But sometimes when the grocery man is worrited an' cross, He reaches at us with his whip, an' larrups up his hoss, An' then I laff an' holler, "Oh, ye never teched ME!" But jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be! Gran'ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man, I'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan, As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon's Isle, Where every prospeck pleases, an' only man is vile! But gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild West show, Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she'd know That Buff'lo Bill and cowboys is good enough for me! EXCEP' jest 'fore Christmas, when I'm as good as I kin be! And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemn-like an' still, His eyes they keep a-sayin': "What;s the matter, little Bill?" The old cat sneaks down off her perch an' wonders what's become Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum! But I am perlite an' 'tend so earnestly to biz, That mother says to father: "How improved our Willie is!" But father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me When, jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be! For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys, Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys; So wash yer face an' brush yer hair, an' mind yer p's an' q's, An' don't bust out yer pantaloons, an' don't wear out yer shoes; Say :Yessum" to the ladies, an' "Yessur" to the men, An' when they's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again; But, thinkin' of the things yer'd like to see upon that tree, Jest 'fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!

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