Global View - The Night Before Christmas (C0337)

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung bythe chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
And mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out onthe lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what wasthe matter.
Away tothe window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon onthe breast ofthe 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!
Tothe top ofthe porch! to the top ofthe 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 tothe 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 onthe 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 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,
Andthe beard of his chin was as white asthe snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
Andthe 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 allthe thestockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, upthe 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,
" Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Key Vocabulary

stirto move,movement
hungto fasten or attach (a thing) so that it is supported only from above or at a point near its own top
chimneya vertical structure that allows the passage of smoke
nestleto lie close and snug
snugwarmly comfortable or cozy
napto sleep for a short time
lustreradiance of beauty, excellence
reindeerlarge deer
rapidwith high speed
dashto move with violence; rush
hurricanevery big rain and wind storm
obstaclesomething that obstructs or hinders progress.
coursera thing suitable for running or chasing
pranceto dance or move in a lively or spirited manner
pawto strike or scrape with the paws or feet
hoofan encasing protecting the foot of an animal such as horse
St Nicholasanother name for Santa clause
tarnishto ruin, make dirty or destroy
soota black dirty substance
bundleseveral objects or a quantity of material gathered or bound together
dimplea small, natural hollow area or crease seen when smiling
stumpthe lower end of a tree or plant left after the main part falls or is cut off
pipesmoking utensil
wreatha circular band of flowers, foliage, or any ornamental work, for adorning the head or for any decorative purpose
plumpwell filled out or rounded in form
elfa magical being
thistlea prickly plant

Supplementary Vocabulary

eggnoga drink made of eggs, milk or cream, sugar, and, usually, rum or wine.
white christmashaving Christmas with snow
snowmana figure of a person made of packed snow.
carola Christmas song or hymn.

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