On, Comet! To the top of the porch! As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,. When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;. So up to the housetop 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,. Down the chimney St.
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Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,. And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;. And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,.
And the beard on 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.
Clement Clarke Moore
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;. Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,. And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,.
Who Wrote “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”?
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—.
He served there as a professor of Oriental and Greek literature from to Nicholas , which he later published under his name in the volume Poems According to extant archival evidence, Moore had a vibrant domestic life. He was devoted to his wife, Catherine Elizabeth Taylor, whom he married in During their courtship, the smitten scholar composed poems to Catherine, and carved her name on trees.
Moore was left with seven children two had died young between the ages of three and fifteen. Moore often wrote poetry for his children and grandchildren. Clement Clarke Moore was a complex man whose life is best assessed within the context of his own era. Socially conservative, he was an ardent defender of property rights and a strong believer in personal responsibility. Through Clement Clarke Moore, we continue to celebrate the spirit of love, goodwill, humor and tranquility of the family at home on Christmas Eve.
Let each one enjoy, with content, his own pleasure, Nor attempt, by himself, other people to measure. A rare edition, circa , illustrated by Scattergood. In December of , A Visit from St.
By the time Clement Clarke Moore included it in his own book of poems in , the original publisher and at least seven others had already acknowledged his authorship. But the facts have not prevented an attempt to turn history upside down. There was no physical evidence. A single manuscript copy was later said to have been destroyed in a fire. Still, the clan began a campaign to re-attribute A Visit to the family patriarch. The date attributed to the first reading gradually shifted as details of the claims were discredited.
For instance, an ancestor who supposedly heard the poem read by Henry Livingston at Christmas in , turned out to have died in August of that year. After successive versions of the story were disproved, the Livingston camp eventually turned to ad hominem attacks.
Foster admitted that much of the Livingston story had already been proven wrong. Even so, he claimed that linguistic forensics, his own foolproof method of detecting authorship, showed Livingston to be the true author. Why me? I believe that A Visit is more than a relic of words on paper. This iconic poem created the modern vision of Santa Claus, a beautiful and captivating story at the center of holiday celebrations welcomed by Americans of every religion.
But, I thought, maybe this time, the accepted wisdom was wrong. So I read the book. In Author Unknown , Foster repeats the old canard that Moore had been temperamentally incapable of writing the beloved poem.
Moreover, he argues, it was stylistically implausible that the stodgy scholar had crafted such sprightly verse. In the end, St. Nick — and Clement C. Fact: The evidence used to support this assertion is false. Then, voila! I asked a research assistant to find the book. In no way does it show any attempt at plagiarism. Fact: Every argument marshaled to support this claim is false.
The Authorship of The Night Before Christmas
Foster Moore was incapable of writing this poem, Foster argues, because he was a rich, all-around nasty person, who hated noisy kids, and by the way, his sons were all philanderers. Time and again Foster makes his case by misinterpreting, or altering, evidence. You have long predicted that I should sooner or later be brought to this…. But what about the child-hating, noise-obsessed Moore?