One of the difficult sections in reprintings of “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” is—strangely enough—listing the reindeer. Is it Dasher and Dancer? Dasher and Lancer? Dunder? Donder? Blixem? Blitzen? The editor of the Daily Eastern Argus got rather creative with the reindeer names. “Dasher and Pancer” could be typographical error; but “Vixen” becoming “Vizen” scans better with a “Blixem” that becomes “Blizen” (or, even, the more-recent “Blitzen”). And it’s still recognizable as Clement Clarke Moore’s most popular poem.


http://www.merrycoz.org/moore/1868Argus.xhtml
“A Visit from St. Nicholas” (from the Daily Eastern Argus [Portland, Maine] 25 December 1868; p. 2.)

’Twas the night before Christams, and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In the hope that St. Nicholas 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 our brains for a long Winter’s nap;

When out on the lawn there arose such clatter, [sic]

I sprang from my 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 miniture [sic] 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 Pancer! now Prancer! and Vizen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on Dunder and Blizen!

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 a 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 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 slung on his back,

And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

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

His cheeks were like roses, his lips 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 round little 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, as he drove ought of sigh, [sic]

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! ”

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