A Mouse in Henry Livingston's House
A Mouse in Henry Livingston's House

Chapter 1:
The Mouse in Henry Livingston's House
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
Chapter 2:
The Sugar Plums of Henry's Life - Sarah and the Children
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
Chapter 3:
The Years Until Mama
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap-
Chapter 4:
The "Old Stone Mansion" on the River
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.
Chapter 5:
Knowing What Henry Livingston Knew
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
Chapter 6:
Dunder and Blixem! It's a Dutchman!
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;

"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
Chapter 7:
The Hurricane of War
As dry leaves 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 sleigh full of Toys - and St. Nicholas too
Chapter 8:
The Unexpected Comes Down the Chimney
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. Nicholas came with a bound
Chapter 9:
Opening Up the New York Economy
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack
Chapter 10:
The New York Dutchman: Stereotype and Reality
His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, 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;
Chapter 11:
Smoke-filled Rooms: New York Politics
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
That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly
Chapter 12:
The Faith That Banishes Fear
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh'd 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.
Chapter 13:
Working on the Land; Judge Henry Livingston
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
Chapter 14:
Myths Blowing Up the Chimney
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
Chapter 15:
Happy Christmas, Henry Livingston
He sprung 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-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Copyright © 2001, Mary S. Van Deusen

This talk was given at Locust Grove, December 1, 2001. For more information, contact Mary S. Van Deusen, mary@iment.com


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