Country Sampler Special Edition
The Season’s Foremost Poem—Do You Know It?
One of the best-loved and well-known poems for the holidays is Clement Clarke Moore's “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” What? You say you don't know it? Surely you do—but probably by its more colloquial title: “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The poem was first published anonymously in 1823 in New York's Troy Sentinel. It wasn't until 14 years later that Moore acknowledged he was the author. The poem gives us much of the basis for the traditional Santa story. The eight reindeer were all first named here (albeit by slightly different spellings), and the jolly old elf made his trek on Christmas Eve, whereas the prevailing focus was on Christmas
Day. Four handwritten copies exist today; three are in museums, and the fourth— handwritten and signed by Moore—is in a private collection and sold for $280,000.