Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ‘Peg
Not a coach was stirring, not even PoMo;
For their sharp skates were hung by the chimney with care,
With hopes that St. Nikolaj would soon be there;
The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of all their wins danced in their heads;
And Wheeler in his kerchief and Mark in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long Christmas nap,
When out on the ice there arouse such a clatter,
Blake sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the suite he flew like a flash,
threw open the door and into the room he dashed.
The scoreboard abrest on the freshly cleaned ice
Gave the luster of mid-game to objects below,
When, what to his eyes should appear,
But a miniature game played by eight tiny kids in Jets gear.
With an old little coach so lively and quick,
I knew right at once it must be Coach Paul.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now WHEELER! Now SCHEIFELE! Now POOLMAN and LAINE!
On ENSTROM! On LITTLE! On CONNOR! On TROUBA!
To the top of the hashmarks! To the top of the boards!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
As dry leaves before a wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the arena-top coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of wins and St. PoMo too.
And then in a tinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little boot,
As Blake drew in his hand and was turning around
In through the doors St. Nikolaj came with a bound
He was dressed all in blue from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were all tarnished with sleet and sand,
A bundle of talent was flung on his back,
He looked like a peddler just opening his back.
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 pale as the sun;
The stump of a puck he held tight in his teeth,
And the steam it rose from his mouth like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round nose,
That wrinkled, when he laughed like a little red bow.
He was smiley and slight, a right jolly young 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 scored all the goals; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up to the ceiling 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!