Twas The Night Before Cross Nats,
Not a rider was stirring, except in one house;
The skinsuit was hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that cold weather soon would be there;
The tubs were nestled all snug on their rims,
While visions of mud rut danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my lid,
Had just settled down for a long summers kip,
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 moon on the breast of the new-fallen rain
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature rider, and 9 massive gears,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Slick.
More rapid than Sven his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Seymour! now, Ryan! now, McCall and Campbell!
On, Convil ! on Newman! on, McDonald and Ahern!
To the top of the steps! to the top of the hill!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As wet muds that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the bike full of carbon, and St. Slick too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and posing of each little hoof.*
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Slick came with a bound.
He was dressed all in lycra , from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with blood dirt and muck;
A bundle of tubs he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were so gaunt, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the stubble on his chin was as cool as the snow;
The stump of a Torq bar he held tight in his teeth,
And the smell 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 skinny and ripper , 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 all the kit bags ; 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 bike, 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,
"No Sherlock, no Ferguson, we're in for a fight!"
*you try find something that rhymes with hoof....good luck tomorrow all