145. Good King Wenceslas

1 Good King Wenceslas looked out
on the feast of Stephen,
when the snow lay round about,
deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night,
though the frost was cruel,
when a poor man came in sight,
gathering winter fuel.

2 “Hither, page, and stand by me,
if thou knowest it, telling:
yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence,
underneath the mountain,
right against the forest fence,
by St. Agnes’ fountain.”

3 “Bring me flesh and bring me wine,
bring me pinelogs hither;
thou and I will see him dine,
when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went,
forth they went together,
through the rude wind’s wild lament,
and the bitter weather.

4 “Sire, the night is darker now,
and the wind blows stronger;
fails my heart, I know not how;
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page,
tread thou in them boldly.
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
freeze your blood less coldly.”

5 In his master’s steps he trod,
where the snow lay dinted;
heat was in the very sod
which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christians all, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor,
shall yourselves find blessing.

Text Information
First Line: Good King Wenceslas looked out
Title: Good King Wenceslas
Author: John Mason Neale (1818-1866)
Meter: 76 76D
Publication Date: 1998
Scripture: ; ;
Topic: Christmas; Stephen; Epiphany
Tune Information
Meter: 76 76D
Key: A♭ Major
Source: Piae Cantiones,, 1582
Notes: Lower key 109

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