‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Orange County
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
TheÃ‚Â stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St.Ã‚Â Rackauckas soon would be there;
Chriss StreetÃ‚Â was nestled all snug inÃ‚Â his bed,
While visions ofÃ‚Â new furnitureÃ‚Â danced inÃ‚Â his head;
AndÃ‚Â Janet 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 Hummer, and eight tiny republicans,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Rack.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Fleischman! now, Adam! now,Ã‚Â Chuckles and Flowerszzz!
On, Tomahawk! on Larry! on,Ã‚Â Jonathan and Jubal!
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 theÃ‚Â Hummer full of subpoenas, and St.Ã‚Â Rackauckas 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. Rackauckas 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 ofÃ‚Â subpoenas 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 Hummer, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim,Ã‚Â as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and I’ll see you in court.”