Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Quote for the Day: Clement Clarke Moore

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through 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.

- Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863)




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The above lines, the first stanza of “ The Night Before Christmas”, a poem also known as “A Visit from St Nicholas”, date from 1822. The poem is now part of the Christmas, particularly the Christmas Eve, tradition. It is therefore a surprise that the author, Clement Clarke Moore, agreed to publication only on the basis that his identity remained anonymous. As a professor, he believed that the poem was not sufficiently worthy. He relented later as a response to the pleading of his children. It is worth noting that this poem helped establish the modern day image of Santa Claus, who had also never previously been associated with a sleigh or reindeers.

Some other well known verses that you may not have realised come from this poem:

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

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!"

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