Good King Wenceslas
These are the words of the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas, composed by J.[ohn] M.[ason] Neale, (1818–1866) in 1853. He used the tune of Tempus adest floridum (~'now is the time of flowering'), a 13th-century spring carol.
- 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
- Gath'ring winter fuel
- "Hither, page, and stand by me
- If thou know'st 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 Saint Agnes' fountain."
- "Bring me flesh and bring me wine
- Bring me pine logs hither
- Thou and I will see him dine
- When we bear him thither."
- Page and monarch forth they went
- Forth they went together
- Through the rude wind's wild lament
- And the bitter weather
- "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 thy blood less coldly."
- In his master's steps he trod
- Where the snow lay dinted
- Heat was in the very sod
- Which the Saint had printed
- Therefore, Christian men, be sure
- Wealth or rank possessing
- Ye who now will bless the poor
- Shall yourselves find blessing