Tuesday, December 24, 2013

merry christmas to all!

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the stable
Not a pony was stirring, to sleepy to be able.
The stockings were hung in the barn aisle with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The drafts were nestled all snug in their stalls,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in the halls.
And Clutch in his blanket, and Notch in his vest,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s rest.

When out on the pasture there arose such a clatter,
Shyloh sprang from the sawdust to see what was the matter.
Away from the window she spooked like a ghost,
Tore open the stall door and ran to the fence post.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen rain
Gave the luster of mud to paddocks again.
When, what to Shy's wondering eyes should a-springer,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny Haflingers.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
Shy knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his Haffies they came,
And he clucked, and he kissed, and he called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the barn roof! to the top of the wall!
Now trot away! Trot away! Trot 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 Haffies they flew,
With the sleigh full of carrots, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, Shy heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each Haffie hoof.
As Shy drew in her head, and was turning around,
Down to the barn St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his croup,
And his clothes were all tarnished with sawdust and poop.
A bundle of hay 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 bowl of apple jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And Shy snorted when she saw him, in spite of herself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave Shy to know she 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 head,
And giving a nod, to the round pen he fled!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a cluck,
And away they all flew each giving a buck.
But Shy heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

~Adapted by Allison from Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston

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