Daily Mail

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!

- BY CLE­MENT.C. MOORE New York · Santa Claus

CLE­MENT Clarke Moore’s fa­mous poem, orig­i­nally en­ti­tled A Visit From St Ni­cholas, was first pub­lished on De­cem­ber 23, 1823, by a New York news­pa­per The Sen­tinel. It has since be­come one of the best-known Christ­mas po­ems in the world. ’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 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 roof there

arose such a clat­ter, I sprang from my bed to see

what was the mat­ter. Away to the win­dow I flew

like a flash, Tore open the shut­ter, and

threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of

the new-fallen snow Gave the lus­tre of mid­day 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, Don­ner and Bl­itzen! 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 the 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 flung on his back, And he looked like a ped­lar 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 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

lit­tle round 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. 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, ‘Happy Christ­mas to all, and

to all a good night!’

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