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.
Available from MobileHymns.org
Recordings – Links and Downloads
A recording of this hymn is available on Richard Irwin’s album – “From Advent to Epiphany Volume 3” on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Spotify. Please Contact Us if you do not have access to these services.
- Album: From Advent to Epiphany Volume 3
- Tune: Tempus Adest Floridum
- Meter: 76 76 D
- Style: Renaissance
- Style: Carol
- Church Year: Christmas / Church Year: Epiphany
- Composer: Unknown from Hymnal: Piae Cantiones (1582) adapted by arranger: John Stainer (1840 – 1901).
- Lyricist: John Mason Neale (1818 – 1866)
- Music and Lyrics Copyright Public Domain
- Performance Copyright ℗ 2013 Richard M S Irwin. All rights reserved.