Uncle Ezekiel’s Youth's Cabinet presented a generic version of the very popularAccount of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” though the children’s visions of sugar-plums dance over their heads instead of in their heads, St. Nicholas’ lips are like roses instead of his cheeks, and the poem has been divided into three stanzas. The editor chose a decorative border to surround the poem. But better proofreading would have been a plus: left single quotation marks (‘) appear in place of right single quotation marks (’). More amusing is that Vixen has been replaced by Nixen—yet another variation in the life of one of the most popular poems in American culture.


http://www.merrycoz.org/moore/1845Ezekiel.xhtml
“A Visit from Santa Claus” (from Uncle Ezekiel’s Youth’s Cabinet, December 1845; pp. 102-103.)

[’]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 o’er their heads;

And mamma 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 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 call’d them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer! now, Nixen!

On! Comet, on! Cupid, on Donder and Blixen—

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the housetop the coursers, 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 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 pedlar just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His lips were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like 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 round little belly,

That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump! a right jolly old elf!

And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.

-----
p. 103

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:

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Copyright 1999-2017, Pat Pflieger
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