A Tale of How St. Nick Came to Call

 'Twas the last night ere Yule day and all through the house
 Not one live thing stirred, not so much as a mouse.
 The kids' socks were hung o'er the fire with much care
 With the hope that quite soon old St. Nick would be there.

 The wee ones all slept snug and tight in their beds
 While dreams of sweet treats sang and danced in their heads;
 So Ma put her scarf on, and I donned my cap
 And we lay in bed for a long, well-earned nap.

 When out on the lawn came a crash and a quake
 And I leapt to my feet to see what made me wake.
 Straight to the sill my feet flew like a flash,
 I flung wide the drapes and I threw up the sash.

 The moon on the breast of the new coat of snow
 Gave things on the ground such a bright mid-day glow
 When, to my eyes, full of awe, what should be near
 But a wee sleigh pulled on by four pairs of small deer

 All drove by a wee man, so old, bright and quick
 I knew in a tick it just must be St. Nick.
 As quick as eight swifts this strange team of beasts came.
 With a tweet! and a shout he called to them by name

 "Now Dance Girl! Now Minx! And now Sweet Boy and Dash!
 On Star Trail! On Love's Dart! On Big Boom and Flash!
 To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
 Now zoom off and boom off and on your way all!"

 As leaves that in front of the wild wind all fly
 When they meet with a wall, they mount up to the sky,
 So up to the house top the sled deer they flew,
 With the sleigh full of toys, and with old St. Nick too.

 And then, in a flash, I could hear on the roof
 The taps and the scrapes that were made by each hoof.
 As I drew in my hand, and I turned my head round
 Down the flue came old St. Nick with a bound.

 He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
 And his clothes were all grimed with gray ash and black soot;
 A bag full of toys he had flung on his back,
 And he looked like a man who sold toys from his pack.

 His eyes -- how their light shone! his smile was so bright!
 His cheek like a rose, and his nose like a light!
 His droll mouth was drawn up and curved 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 of it wrapped round his head like a wreath;
 He had a broad face and a gut like a ham
 That shook, when he laughed like a bowl full of jam.

 He was round and quite plump, full of fun as a boy
 And I laughed when I saw him how he quaked in his joy.
 A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
 Soon gave me to know that I had naught to dread;

 He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
 And filled all the socks up; then turned with a jerk,
 And lay his right hand to the side of his nose,
 And with one last nod, up the flue St. Nick rose;

 He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a tweet
 And off they all sped through the night air, so fleet
 And the last thing he said as he flew from my sight
 Was "A glad Yule to all, and to all a good night!"

                                -- Hank L.
                                   (done by Kip W.)