Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a Husker was stirring, not even ‘Lil Red;
The stockings were hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that Tom Osborne soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of championships danced in their heads;
And mamma in her pajamas, and I in my cob hat,
Had just settled down to watch Husker highlights,
When out on the lawn Sirius began playing,
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 bones.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of game day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a glass trophy case, with many trophies to show,
With a little old ball coach, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Tom Osborne.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, JERRY! now, TURNER! now, TOMMIE and ERIC!
On, JOHNNY! on IRVING! on, ROGER and MIKE!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now sprint away! sprint away! sprint away all!”
As dry leaves that before the stadium crowd roared,
When they meet with a victory, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of gear, and Tom Osborne too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the stadium roof
The prancing and pawing of each little foot.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the tunnel walk Tom Osborne came with a bound.
He was dressed all in red, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with turf;
A bundle of helmets he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a player just opening his pack.
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 hair of his head was as white as the snow;
The grip of a pen he held tight in his hand,
And the playbook laid open to the fullback trap, what a stand;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the lockers; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the stadium 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 CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!