A visit from St. Nick

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

Posted 12/24/19

It was just before Christmas, when all through Boat Haven

Not a creature was stirring, not even a raven;

The boats were all tied to the docks with great care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon …

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A visit from St. Nick

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

Posted

It was just before Christmas, when all through Boat Haven

Not a creature was stirring, not even a raven;

The boats were all tied to the docks with great care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The mariners were nestled all snug in their berths;

While dreaming of fair winds and peace across earth;

The Captain in her flannel and I in my capilene,

Had just settled in for a warm snuggly nap,

When out on the breakwater there arose such a racket,

I sprang from my sleeping bag with a light and a ratchet.

Away to the topside I flew like a ranger,

And flipped on my flashlight to look out for danger.

The moon on the skin of Port Townsend Bay,

Gave a blast of pale light, that flashed like midday,

When what to my watering eyes did appear,

But a tiny spidsgatter towed by eight silvery chinook,

With a little old sailor so steady and quick,

I knew from his tiller skills he must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his salmonids 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, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of that travel lift! To the Coast Guard’s sea wall!

Now splish away! splash away! dash away all!”

As seafoam before the wild hurricanes fly,

When it meets with an obstacle, mounts to the sky;

So up over the mastheads his finned coursers they flew

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

And then, in a twinkling, on the poop deck’s soft roof

He had gybed and backtracked to land with a soft fishy “oof!”

As I jumped to the galley, and was turning around,

Down the stove-pipe St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in oilskins, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes fit like baggywrinkle, smeared with pine tar and soot;

A bundle of kit he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a tramp sailor just opening that pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were sunburned, his nose veined like a berry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a spinnaker,

And the beard on his chin was as white as as a barnacle;

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

And the smoke, dipped ‘n flowed like a whale’s dorsal fin;

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 both our stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

After hoisting some grog, up the stovepipe he rose;

He sprang to his boat, to his school 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!”

 

- Leader Elves

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