'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the roles
Not a Mason was stirring, not even Jim Bowles
The aprons were hung by the altar with care,
In hopes that the Holy Sts. John soon would be there;
The brethren were nestled most of them asleep in their seats,
With visions of pizza, hot and ready to eat;
And Master in his 'crown, and I in the South,
Had just settled down for a long meeting Joust,
When out on the ante room there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the South to see what was the matter.
Away to the Tyler I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and threw up the sash.
The light on the Tyler's polished new sword
Gave the lustre of high twleve, and no one said a word
When, what to my wondering eyes did I devote,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny goats,
With a little old man, so lively and alibaster,
I knew in a moment it must be our Master.
More rapid than Roman eagles his coursers they came,
And he gaveled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Alan! now, Dennis! now, Shawn and Phil!
On, Jimmy! on Kent! on, Keith and Bill!
To the top of Solomons porch! to the top of the meeting hall!
Now gavel away! gavel away! gavel away all!"
As dry acasia leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the top of the lodge, the goats they flew,
With the sleigh full of dues notices, and our Master too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little goats hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down from the East our Master came with a bound.
He was dressed in Jewels, from his head to his foot,
And his apron was tarnished with pizza and soot;
A bundle of dues notices he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they were blood shot! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a square,
And the top of his head gleamed just like his chair;
The can of snuff, he held tight in his teeth,
And the mist of the spit cup encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a big, beer belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was regal, and pompt, a right proper old mason,
But I laughed when I saw him, in spite of the situation.
A rap of his gavel and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the dues envelopes; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving due guard and sign, up the columns he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his goats 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,
"We're good men getting better, Lodge is closed, good night"