Twas the night before Christmas, when all 'round the boat
Not a wave was stirring, Rode Trip was calmly afloat.
The pennants were hung on the rigging with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
Brian nestled all snug in the v-berth,
All day with the engine, a good night's sleep this was worth.
And I in my sweats, lying still 'neath a book,
We'd just settled our bellies from the dinner we'd cooked.
When up on the deck there arose such a clatter,
Brian sprang from the bunk to see what was the matter.
Away from my book, I flew like a flash,
Up the ladder, clamoring over wooden doors through the hatch.
The moon light, it danced, on the breast of the water,
Giving the lustre of mid-day to dolphins a'wander.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the Jolly Roger, her decks lined with reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than gannets his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
Over top of the sail! Over top of the mast!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away fast!"
As dry leaves that before hurricane Sandy did fly,
When met with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So over the anchorage the coursers they flew,
With the ship full of goodies, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on our fiberglass roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
Hooves scratching gel-coat what a terrible sound,
Then, down into the cockpit came St Nick with a bound.
He was dressed all in Gill, from his head to his foot,
And his bibs were all tarnished with saltwater gook.
A bundle of gifts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a cruiser, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! His cheeks pink from the sun!
His dimples how merry! His nose like a red lighted nun!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the hull.
A dark and stormy he sipped through his teeth,
And the scent of dark rum wafted 'round us beneath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old pip,
And I laughed as Rode Trip started to tip!
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 came into the cabin,
And filled all the cupboards, what more would fit I couldn't imagine!
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the ladder he rose!
He sprang to his ship, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a submarine's missile.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he steered out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
-Adapted from A Visit from St Nicholas written by: Clement Clarke Moore (1823)