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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, gathering winter fuel.

"Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know 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 food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither
You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither."
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the cold 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 now in them boldly,
You shall find the winter's rage freeze your 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,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.

About this song:

"Good King Wenceslaus" is based on the life of Wenceslaus I, the Duke of Bohemia who lived in the 10th century. He was a Christian and was assassinated by his brother. Wenceslaus is the patron saint of the Czech people and the Czech Republic.

The feast of Stephen mentioned in the song is celebrated on 26th December, to honor the memory of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

This song was written by John Neale in 1853.

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