'Twas the Night Before Christmas (The Arrival of Saint Nicholas) Part Two!

So now you are word-perfect and can whisk you way through the first part of this Christmas classic, shall we move on?

(Steady with this line, make each word crisp so your audience can share in the excitement)
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,(indicate with the voice, you are encouraging the reindeer so try to be upbeat)
"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!" (faster)
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,(don't stop here! You need to say these two lines together to make sense of them)
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 roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,(slower)
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot, (gesture with the voice or hands if you prefer)
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:

(For twenty first century audiences; a peddler was a traveling salesman who carried his goods in a pack strapped to his back which he would open for potential shoppers to marvel at)

Practice... record... listen... practice again! This is an amazing performance poem if you can take the trouble to memorise it. I have vivid memories of my father reciting to us; poetry has the power to create a memory that can't be bought!


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