The Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the cellar
Not a bottle was stirring, not even Latour
The stockings were hung by the wine racks with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas would leave a Branaire
The bottles were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of decanters danced in their heads;
And Margaux in her wood crate, and I in bubble wrap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
I strained from my bin to see what was the matter.
Away to the entry I rolled like a flash,
Peeked under the molding and peered out the crack.
The neon lit high-rises brightly aglow
Gave the lustre of midday to bottles on show,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a wine-laden sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a merry faced driver, so boozy but quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than Monday his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now Palmer! Now Giscours! Now Dauzac and d’Issan!
On Talbot! On Lynch-Bages! Montrose and Kirwan!
To the top of the Peak! To the top of the mall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
Like twigs and leaves that during gusty typhoons fly,
Or bamboo scaffolding erected to the sky,
So up to our roof-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of wine, 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 cork, and was turning around,
I heard the whir of cables and the lift bell sound
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
His fine couture jacket smudged with PRD soot;
Cases of wine he had slung on his back,
And he looked like an amah just opening her pack.
His eyes — how they sparkled! His profile how hairy!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose red and scary!
His face was flushed with an animated glow
Like a wine-writer blessed with copious wine flow
The head of a cigar he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a massive round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a chunk of pork belly.
He was chubby and plump, a typical gourmand
And I laughed when I saw him, because I was fond
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know he bestowed bottles of red;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his search,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a lurch,
And laying a corkscrew beside the Bordeaux,
And giving a jolly nod, to the lobby he strode;
He sprang to his rig, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a surface-air missile.
But I heard him exclaim as he careened out of line,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a fine wine!”