'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the car
Not an insulator was stirring, not even a Star;
The brackets were mounted on the crossarms with care,
In hopes that Mr. Hemingray soon would be there;
The linemen were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Muncies danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The arrester arc on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes thought was a Burgess,
Was actually a miniature power pole, and eight tiny Surges,
When a little old signaler, so lively and just a touch grey,
I knew in a moment it must be Mr. Hemingray.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, PYREX! now, HARLOE! now, EC&M and CAL.ELEC.WORKS!
On, MAYDWELL! on FISHER! on, BROOKFIELD and OAKMAN CABLE WORKS!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the insulators they flew,
With the pole full of glass, and Mr. Hemingray too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the tin
The prancing and pawing of each little pin.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Mr. Hemingray came with a bound.
He was dressed all in wood, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with creosote and soot;
A bundle of insulators he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a trespasser just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like oxblood, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a transformer bushing he held tight in his teeth,
And the arc it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A fleabite on his skirt 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 tightened all the tie wires; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his pole, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew with the speed of a missile.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY COLLECTING TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"