‘Twas the night before Christmutts, when all through the pen
not a creature was stirring, not a mutt nor a hen.
The stockings were hung by the dog door with care, in hopes that St. Bern soon would soon be there.
The dogs were nestled all snug on their beds,
while visions of rawhide and bones danced in their heads.
With Amore in her ‘kerchief, and Dolce in her cap, they had just settled down for a long canine’s nap.
When out in the dog pen there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature dog sled and eight tiny Terriers.
With a little old driver, so lively and durn,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Bern.
and faster than Greyhounds, his coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
“Now Rover! Now Ruddy! Now, Pepper and Buddy!
On, Daisy! On, Charlie! On, Duke and Harley!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now leap away! leap away! leap away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, jumped to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sled full of toys, and St. Bern too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing and a little woof woof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St. Bern came with a bound.
He was covered all in fur, from his muzzle to his paw,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and straw.
A bundle of treats he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes–how they twinkled! His jowls, how merry!
His tail curled over, his nose like a cherry!
His long muzzle was drawn up like a bow, the whiskers on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a rawhide he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a big round belly, that shook when he barked, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old mutt,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of his strut.
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 all the stockings with treats and jerk.
And laying his paw aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sled, to his dogs 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 Christmutts to all, and to all a good night!”