by Donald Hughes
Twas the Pipe 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;
Three Nuns were nestled all snug in their Jar;
While scent of Plums Pudding danced in the Air;
And mamma with Creme Brule, and I with Nightcap,
Had just settled our bowls for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn 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 shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the Green of the still growing grass,
Because this is Houston and still hotter than Ash, (edited for profanity)
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh pulled by a John Deere,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, Smoking Pipes as he came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by shape:
“Now, Sitter ! now, Author! now Blow Fish and Dublin!
On, Bulldog! on, Poker! on, Zulu and Rhodesian!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now puff away! Puff away! Puff away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When smoke met with an obstacle, mounted to the sky;
So up to the housetop with pipe smoke it flew
With the sleigh full of tins, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The Tamping and lighting of each little poof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down with a 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 pound of Escudo he had flung over his back,
And he looked like a piper 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, (Secretly I think it might be Mike)
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 cellars; then called me a jerk, (If you know me, you know he ain’t wrong)
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, with a Castello he rose;
He lit up his pipe, And to me gave a whistle,
And away he just flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and check BriarBlues tonight!”