Sunday, December 5, 2021

Good King Wenceslas

We just learned about the Christmas carol Angels We Have Heard on High.

Another famous Christmas carol is Good King Wenceslas.

This song is was written about an old story of a king and his helper who went out during cold winter snowy weather and help take care of poor people.
Around 930 AD, Wenceslas was the Duke of Bohemia which is now called the Czech Republic, and the story says he did this during the Feast of Stephen, which is on December 26th, and is meant to honor the apostle Stephen from the Bible.

The words for the song wer writen in 1853 by John Mason Neale from England, and the music came from another old song from 1582 in Finland called "Tempus adest floridum" which means "Eastertime has come".

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, tho’ 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 them 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, good my 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.

(from: wikipedia - good king wenceslas)

Good King Wenceslas from "A Castle Christmas" - The best performance of this christmas carol EVER! - koutsakas99

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