Not a creature was stirring, not even a cicada.
The stockings were hung on the wall with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas-san soon would be there.
Zach was nestled all snug in his crib,
While visions of growing hair danced in his head.
And mamma in a kimono, and I in my giants hat,
Had just settled our brains for a long fall 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 curtains and threw up the blinds.
The moon on the breast of warm winter night
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny geckos.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick-san.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher-san! now, Dancer-san! now, Prancer-san and Vixen-san!
On, Comet-san! On, Cupid-san! on, on Donner-san and Blitzen-san!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry palm leaves that before the wild typhoon fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the bunker-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas-san too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The chirping and sneaking of each little gecko.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas san came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all worn with sun and wear.
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 dark as the coal.
The stump of a cigarette he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a skinny little belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was skinny and short, 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 of English, 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 chirping,
And away they all slithered like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Merii Kurisumasu to all, and to all a good-night!"