Analysis of Account of a Visit From ST. Nicholas
Major Henry Livingston Jr. 1748 (Poughkeepsie, Province of New York) – 1828 (Poughkeepsie, New York)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The 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 sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
And mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's 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 shutters, and threw up the sash.
The boon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I new in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves 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 Toys--and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the root
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 dress'd in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd 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 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 laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye hand 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 fill'd all the stockings; and turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He spring 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 site--
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
|Scheme||AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHIIJJKJLLMMNNOPQQRRSSTTUGVVTTWWXXYYZZ1 1 2 2|
|Metre||101011011101 101011011001 01001101011 01111001111 01001011011 11011011011 010001001011 1110101101101 111011011010 111011111010 01101011101 11001001101 01101101101 101011111001 11111001101 101001011011 101011011001 11001011111 1101101111 011001001111 110110110010 1101101101 101101101101 11011011011 1110101101 111111001101 1110110111 101111011001 010010011101 01001011101 111011011001 101011001101 11101111111 011011011001 0101111111 0111010110011 111110110110 110110111010 11101111101 001111111101 01101111011 001101011101 110110010110 111111011110 111001011011 01111110111 01111101111 11111111011 11101111111 01101001101 01011001111 01001101011 111111111010 0011111011010 111101111111 101011011011|
|Closest metre||Iambic hexameter|
|Letters per line (avg)||37|
|Words per line (avg)||10|
|Letters per stanza (avg)||2,059|
|Words per stanza (avg)||539|
Submitted on May 13, 2011
- 2:45 min read
- 46 Views
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"Account of a Visit From ST. Nicholas" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem-analysis/26319/account-of-a-visit-from-st.-nicholas>.
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