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Good King Wenceslas

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J. M. Neale, 1853

 

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,

Through the frost was cruel,

When a poor man came in sight,

Gath'ring winter fuel.

 

2. »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«.

 

3. »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.

 

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, good my page:

Tread thou in them boldly:

Thou shah find the winter's rage

Freeze thy bio od 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, Christian men, be sure,

Wealth or rank possessing,

Ye who now will bless the poor,

Shall yourselves find blessing.

--

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