Good King Wenceslas Christmas Carol

Good King Wenceslas is a Christmas carol written in 1853 by John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore. The song embodies the Christmas season of charity and kindness to the less fortunate. This rendition was recorded in 1999 by the Irish Rovers. The song tells the story of a king and his page trodding through the snow during a harsh winter night on the Feast of Stephen, to bring food to a poor man living in the village. The Feast of Stephen falls on December 26.

Good King Wenceslas Lyrics

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 mead 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


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