Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Here we are again with my traditional Christmas Eve post:)

The Night Before Christmas was always my children's bedtime story on Christmas Eve.
So for all of us who still feel the magic of this night......

'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 down 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 hand, 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,
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."

May I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!


elaine said...

I vowed not to 'follow' any more blogs as my list is growing to humungous proportions, but I cam across your blog through Loose and Leafy, and thought, that is my kind of blog. So here I am. Love the illustrations that you have used. Looking forward to reading many more posts next year.

Kathy said...

Thank you Rowan, that's exactly the right post for Christmas Eve.
I love your traditional Father Christmas pictures too!
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Lote of love
Kathy xxx

Rosie said...

Lovely! Just right for today. Have a wonderful Christmas:)

Hearthwife said...

And to you & yours, Rowan. Have a lovely holiday :)

Mac n' Janet said...

Merry Christmas to you Rowan, and thank you for The Night Before Christmas a favorite of mine, I think I know it by heart! Beautiful illustrations.

Janet said...

Beautifully done, as always. I love that story, too.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

Louise said...

That's a favourite of mine too, I read it to myself earlier!!

Hope you enjoy the spiced berry cordial :)

Wishing you a wonderful christmas


Dartford Warbler said...

Thank you Rowan. "The Night Before Christmas" was the bedtime poem for my boys too, when they were young. We read it around the fire, just before they left out a mince pie and a glass of sherry for Father Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Delightful, thank you. May you have a cosy and contented time, restful and full of sweet, sweet moments. See you here next year as you mark the turning of the seasonal circle some more!!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Thank you for the bedtime story - it was our kids' favorite too.

Merry Christmas!

WOL said...

Hope everyone has a holiday filled with warm fuzzies and all the best goodies. Safe journey! to the travelers. Now, I've got to sign off and make a cranberry Jello salad so it will be congealed in time for xmas dinner. . .

George said...

Merry Christmas to you, Rowan! And thanks for all of your wonderful postings throughout the year, especially this one. It was nice to go back and read "The Night Before Christmas." As you say, it brings back the magic of Christmas Eve.

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful story, I love it. I hope you had a wonderful boxing day !!!
Hugs from The Netherlands

Jane said...

Lovely illustrations to a well-loved classic :) I've enjoyed all your posts this year and wish you a (slightly belated) very Merry Christmas and continued blessings in the New Year!