‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Garden
All the lights were blazin’ and the cars were a-comin’;
The stockings were hung by the camellias with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The plants were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of compost danced in their heads;
And hollies with their berries, and I in my acorn cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out in the arboretum there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the lawn to see what was the matter.
Away through the trees I crept like a weed,
Peeking through the branches covered in seeds.
The glow of the Garden of Lights all around
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects on the ground,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a golf cart pulled by 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 bald eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dahlia! now, Daphne! now, Holly and Linden!
On, Canna! on Crocus! on, Ivy and Rhodendron!
To the top of the hill! to the back of the Rose Garden Hall!
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 across the Garden the coursers they flew,
With the cart full of plants, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the grass
The clanking of a trailer as it went past.
As I drew in my leaves, and was turning around,
Out of the cart St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his shirt,
And his clothes were all tarnished with mud and dirt;
A bundle of flora 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 Yoshino 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 shovel he held tight in his hand,
The other held a bare-rooted tree; I knew what he planned.
He had a bright face and quite a wide girth,
But that did not slow him as he sunk his spade in the earth.
That dirt was flung in all directions by a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw it, 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 planted that tree; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
He began to water that new plant with a hose;
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.”
Thank you to Clement Moore for the inspiration and some of the words – Dandy