adapted from Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas”

by C.T. Casberg

Twas the night of the Krampus and all through the thicket
not a creature was stirring, not even a cricket
A great silence hung, and all animals took care
For the dreadul black demon soon would be there

A banker was pacing, awake by his bed
While visions of green danced in his head
His children were gone, somewhere far away
He was alone this eve as he was each day

When out from the woods there came such a noise
It frightened the man and shattered his poise
To the front door he moved, looking out on the lawn
Afraid of what he’d see moving beyond

Out from the trees stepped a horrid black guise
The man stumbled and gasped in shock and surprise
The glow of the moon showed the beast clear
It was a monster from hell, a true visage of fear

Its skin colored onyx, thick and reptillian
Its large fangs were sharp, and the eyes vermillion
It’d great ghastly horns, and it lugged a black chain
It cackled and snarled, the grim, awful bane!

With each step in the snow, steam rose to the air
The goblin had come from a hot, hellish lair
The man cowered and wept and curled on the floor
and prayed that the thing would not knock on his door

But it soon pounded and howled and rattled its chain
And it barked and it laughed, then called him by name
”You are mine, William, and I know what you’ve done!
Your sins, I shall count them, and count them one by one!’

‘You cheated, you stole, you hoarded your time,
You gave nothing away, not a dollar, not a dime!
You cursed and you lied, and your lusts took flight
It’s no wonder you’re alone this cold winter night!’

The door broke open wide and the creature stepped in
The man crumpled and cried at sight of the jinn
‘Leave me alone,’ he said, ‘Leave me in peace!’
‘I repent of my crimes. Please, make this cease!’

‘You can’t help yourself now, you poor, witless fool!’
The beast laughed again, so devilish and cruel
‘You’ve no courage, no spine, no bravery or might.
What can you do to make yourself right?’

‘You know the law: “Sin’s wages is death.”
Prepare for Hell’s fire, and draw your last breath!’
Raising its chain, the Krampus drew near
When inside the room a great light did appear.

It was as bright as the sun and hot as a fire
This divine flash was surely from up higher
The Krampus recoiled when the light then mingled
with a curious sound, that of a jingle.

Out of the glare an old man appeared
With red, white trimmed robes, and a long, bushy beard
He looked around brightly as he held his black sash
But the Krampus snarled loud, and threw its chain lash

Metal struck metal and the Krampus then kneeled
as the old man brandished a gleaming gold shield.
‘Curse you,’ it spat. ‘For what have you come?
‘This sinner is ours- Scum gathers its scum!’

The newcomer smiled and winked at the banker
but turned to the Krampus with fire and anger
From within his red robe he produced a sword
‘It’s not for a demon to apportion reward!’

‘Sin’s wages is death, but the free gift of grace
has been given to all in this broken, mortal race.
Their debt is great, but their creditor greater,’
‘By his own blood he forgives them, their God, their Savior!

With one mighty swing, he severed the chain
and the Krampus fell low and screamed out in pain.
‘Begone now, you beast, for death is undone.
This man repents. He belongs to the Son!’

The Krampus growled low and vanished in smoke,
and the old man laughed loud, as if hearing a joke.
‘Stand up my friend, let me tell you the news.
There is already one who’s paid your sin’s dues.’

The banker stood up, wide-eyed and scared.
‘Why have you come sir, and why do you care?”
The newcomer smiled wide then pulled out a pipe.
He patted his pockets in search of a light.

‘This is my mission, my quest year-to-year.
I bring tidings of one who banishes fear.
The true gift of Christmas is not my small toys,
but the Gospel’s great power for lost girls and boys.’

‘You confessed, and he saved you from death’s wicked toll,
Your past is forgiven, you have a new soul!
Remember your King, and remember this night,
When Christ defeated the dark and restored you to light.’

‘Now, if you’d excuse me, there’s still work I must do.
But realize, Christian, you now have work, too.
The way isn’t easy, but straight and narrow,
though you’ll always find aid on faith’s trying road.’

St. Nick lit his pipe, and the room filled with light.
The kindly saint called loud ‘ere he vanished from sight,
‘Lay down your burdens, let your fears fly away,
for our Savior has come! Rejoice this Christmas Day!’

November 2013