20 Dec 2016


Generally credited as being by C.C. Williford though the exact author is unknown.*
(If you know who exactly wrote this poem please leave a comment in the comment box in order that I may give full credit to that person. Thank you. TT)

Twas the night before Yuletide and all through the glen
Not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.
The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.
When low! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.
“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed,
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed.
“What caused the earth’s shudder? What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.
Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked and it twinkled, it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.
Before they could murmur, before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd, with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.
As she passed by them the old crone’s perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber and the birds start to sing.
“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I’ve come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of re-birth, and yet…”
“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn’t filled with rich fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that’s mulled or other hot brews.”
“There aren’t any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”
She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let’s play.”
They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.
They strung lights on the trees, and bows, oh so merry,
In colours of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snow birds, and snow cats and bats.
Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ‘round their favourite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ‘neath the tree’s finery.
They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star.
The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight,
“Happy Yuletide, my children,” she whispered. “Good night.

Wishing you all well this Yuletide Eve and throughout the coming year,


Sherry Ellis said...

I have never read this version of the poem. Here in the States, it's called The Night Before Christmas, with different words, written by Clement C. Moore in 1822. I'm very curious now, which poem came first.

Tracy Terry said...

I love Twas The Night Before Christmas which I believe must have been written before this Yuletide version.

I can't actually find a lot about CC Williford (if indeed he penned this poem) other than that he was a radio presenter during the 1930's.


carol said...

I've never read this poem. I think I'll share it for my Thursday tale this week, if you don't mind me borrowing your idea.

Natasha Hill said...

This is beautiful and such lovely imagery in it too! I've not come across this poem before but I love it. Happy Yuletide Blessings Tracy! - Tasha

Kelly said...

I love this twist on the original poem! I think my sister would have loved it, too. She's very much on my mind these days.

I'm glad you shared this. Maybe someone will be able to shed more light on its origins.

Suko said...

I love this, Tracy! Happy holidays to you and your readers.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Very beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing, and Happy Yuletide to you too!


Brian Joseph said...

I like this version a lot. I think that when folks refer to he Night Before Christmas I will try to reference and let them know about this version.

May you have a wonderful Yuletide Eve.

Tracy Terry said...

Glad you all enjoyed my Yuletide offering. Please feel free to use it Carol.

carol said...

Thanks for letting me use it! I'll probably post it tomorrow.

Gina R said...

Aww, that was lovely! I've never actually heard/read it before either, so thank you for the experience!

Literary Feline said...

I love this! Thank you for sharing, Tracy.