A Visit From St. Nicholas Poem by Clement Clarke Moore

A Visit From St. Nicholas

Rating: 3.2

‘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 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 called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder 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 pedler 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 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 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 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.”

Fabrizio Frosini 10 November 2015

I didn't know the poem was by Clement Clarke Moore.. shame on me.. and thanks PH..

28 5 Reply
Kim Barney 25 December 2015

I knew the poem was by Clement C. Moore; I just didn't know his middle name was Clarke!

0 0 Reply
Mary Donnelly 19 June 2015

What can anyone say about one of the most popular poems in the world.

19 5 Reply
Rajesh Thankappan 12 December 2015

An excellent narration of a beautiful and unexpected occasion.

9 9 Reply

The best Christmas poem ever written and a childhood favorite..

11 6 Reply
Practicing Poetess 24 November 2018

... And I always thought the title was 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' ! Thank you, PH! Saving this childhood favourite to My Poems List.

3 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 25 December 2016

this lovely poem was first published anonymously on Dec.23,1823, in a newspaper (I think it was 'The Sentinel)

11 1 Reply
Kim Barney 25 December 2015

One of my all-time favorite Christmas poems, but someone has made a typo, I'm sure, when typing the poem into PH's poem base. I remember the one reindeer's name as DONNER, not DONDER. DONNER means THUNDER in German. (BLITZ means LIGHTNING, by the way.)

13 6 Reply
Susan Williams 25 December 2015

No wonder what your beliefs, a wonderfully charming poem is a wonderfully charming poem and a treat toi the heart and soul of children of all ages

29 4 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 25 December 2015

A superb masterpiece of a Christmas poem enjoyable by reader of any age. Thanks for sharing.

7 2 Reply
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Clement Clarke Moore

Clement Clarke Moore

New York City, New York
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