... when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The Red Stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of ground-rule doubles danced in their heads;
And mamma in herjersey, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed likeafter a bunt attempt to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew likein a dash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of a day game to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh with a wishbone "C" on the side, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid thandown the 1st base line 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,and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now over to Thom for the play-by-play call!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of bats, gloves, balls, other assorted baseball equipment, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in Red fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with rosin, pine tar, and soot;
A bundle of baseball equipment he had flung on his back,
And he looked like, waiting to bat.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a Cherry (Hudson)!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like Brandon Phillips',
And the hair of his chin was as white as Marty Brennaman's,
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like the on-deck circle;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like Great American Ballpark after ahome run.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a tip of the Reds cap on 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 Red Stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And like Mark Berry giving a take sign, 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 whistle,
And away they all flew like fly balls to the Moon Deck.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"This is Santa Claus, rounding 3rd and heading for home!"