Twas the Night Before Christmas...

OoH Dec 24, 2014, by Oceans of Hope News team in Yacht

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the boat

Not a creature was stirring, nothing to note;

The life vests were hung by the masthead with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The crew were nestled all snug in their bunks;

While salty ocean air danced in their trunks;

And mamma in her foulies, and I dressed to match,

Had just traded our watches, a nap I would catch

When out on deck there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bunk to see what was the matter.

Away to the salon I flew like a flash,

Cleared my tired eyes and threw open the hatch.

The moon on the breast of the calm Florida sea,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects that be,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature inner tube and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Mikkel! now, Jens! now Bertram and Kristian!

On, Britt! on, Gitte! on, Ann, Anja, Dirk and Morten!

To the head of the dock! to the end of the sea wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As spray that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the mast top the coursers they flew

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard amongst the deck gear

The prancing and pawing of each little deer.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the companionway St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, atop his inner tube,

And his clothes were all tarnished with salt spray and lube;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a pedler 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 on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

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 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 filled all the gear bags; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the companionway he rose;

He sprang to his tube, 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!”

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