‘Twas the Night Before Stampmas, when all through the shop,
No stamps were re-inking, not even a drop;
The daters were hung by the laser with care,
In hopes that more orders soon would be there;
The workers were nestled all snug in their seats;
While visions of re-bands became their next feat;
And Manager with pre-ink, and I with dust cap,
Settled our impressions for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my computer to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I foamed like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my stamp maker eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be Stamp Nick.
More rapid than Eagle Zephyrs his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Greenline! now, Dater! now Printer and PN!
On, Comet! on, Classic! on, EVO and Pullman!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash those bands! dash those bands! the layout says all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount stripped to the sky;
So up to the stamp shop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of Ink, and Stamp Nicholas too-
And then, in a twinkling, I saw in a proof
A scratch on a negative that looked like a hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Stamp Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with black ink and soot;
A bundle of stamps he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a salesman just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like red ink, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a ruler he held tight in his teeth,
For measuring R40’s that were round like a wreath;
He had a bold faced font and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a plate full of poly.
He was chubby and plump, 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 the dial
Soon gave fine impressions which made us both smile;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Mounting my dies but 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 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 Stampmas to all, and to all a good night!”