‘Twas the night before summit, and through shelter-house
Not a creature was stirring – well, maybe a mouse;
The bear-bags were hung on the cables with care,
In hopes that no roaming bears soon would be there;
The people were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Katahdin danced in their heads;
And hikers in hammocks, and I in my tent,
Had just fallen asleep before the ascent,
When out in the trees there arose such a chatter,
I sat up in my bag to see what was the matter.
Next to my head, I found my handy flash,
Squinted a bit – nearly time to dash.
The moon was hid behind a cloud though
And gave very little light to objects below,
Nowhere to my sleepy eyes should appear,
Those same bear cables where hung my gear.
At o’dark thirty, it’s hard to be quick,
But soon I was striding along with a stick.
More rapid than eagles my fellow hikers came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, MINION! Now MAGIC ! now, HICCUP and WRECKIN’!
On, TINKER!, on, NOVA!, on, ORANGE CRUSH and PUMPKIN!
To the top of the mountain! to the top of it all!
Now dash away! dash away! dash on y’all!”
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When they meet with an obstacle, climb up the rock,
So up to the mount-top the hikers they flew,
With daypacks with food, and waterbottles too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on world’s roof
The cheering and clapping of each silly goof.
As I conceded defeat, and was turning around,
Down the rockface many hikers headed southbound.
They went on their way, some gave a whistle,
And down they all went like some guided missile.
But I heard them exclaim, while still on the spike,
HAPPY TRAILS TO ALL, AND HIKE YOUR OWN HIKE!