The Night after Christmas
From Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine
The following is an amusing parody upon Clement Moore's unequalled "The Night
"Twas the night after Christmas, when all through the house
was abed, and as still as a mouse;
The stockings, so lately
St. Nicholas's care,
Were emptied of all that was eatable there.
had duly been tucked in their beds—,
With very full stomachs, and
pains in their heads.
I was dozing away in my new cotton cap,
And Nancy was rather far gone in
When out in the nurs'ry arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my sleep, crying—"What
is the matter?"
I flew to each bedside—and half in a doze—
Tore open the
curtains, and threw off the clothes;
While the light of the taper served
clearly to show
The piteous plight of those objects below;
For what to the fond father's
eyes should appear
But the little pale face of each sick little dear?
For each pet that had
crammed itself full as a tick,
I knew in a moment now felt like Old Nick.
Their pulses were rapid, their
breathings the same,
What their stomachs
rejected I'll mention by name—
Now Turkey, now Stuffing, Plum Pudding,
And Custards, and Crullers, and Cranberry Sauce;
nature, all went to the wall,
Yes—Lollypops, Flapdoddle, Dinner
Like pellets which urchins from popguns let fly,
Went figs, nuts
and raisins, jam, jelly and pie,
Till each error of diet was brought to
To the shame of Mamma and Santa Claus, too.
I turned from the sight, to
my bedroom stepped back,
And brought out
a phial marked "Pulv. Ipecac.,"
When my Nancy exclaimed—for their
sufferings shocked her—
" Don't you think you had better, love, run
for the Doctor?"
I ran—and was scarcely back under my roof,
When I heard the sharp
clatter of old Jalap's hoof.
I might say that I hardly had turned myself
When the Doctor came into the room with a bound.
He was covered
with mud from his head to his foot,
And the suit he had on was his very
He had hardly had time to put that on his back,
And he looked
like a Falstaff half fuddled with sack.
His eyes, how they twinkled!
the Doctor got merry?
His cheeks looked like Port and his breath smelt
He hadn't been shaved for a fortnight or so,
And the beard
on his chin wasn't white as the snow.
But inspecting their tongues in despite
And drawing his watch from his waistcoat beneath,
He felt of each
pulse, saying—"Each little belly
Must get rid"— here he laughed—"of
the rest of that jelly."
I gazed on each chubby, plump, sick little elf,
And groaned when he
said so, in spite of myself;
But a wink of his eye when he physicked
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He didn't prescribe,
but went straightway to work
And dosed all the rest, gave his trousers
And, adding directions while blowing his nose,
He buttoned his
coat; from his chair he arose,
Then jumped in his gig, gave old Jalap
And Jalap dashed off as if pricked by a thistle;
But the Doctor
exclaimed, ere he drove out of sight,
" They'll be well by to-morrow— good-night,