Loreena McKennitt - Good King Wenceslas

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 shall 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 shall find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's step he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, rejoice
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye, who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Music & Lyrics: John Mason Neale (1818-1866)
Music: arranged and adapted by Loreena McKennitt
From: A winter garden (1995).
And from: A Midwinter Night's Dream (2008).
and: Under A Winter's Moon (2022)

Source of the lyrics: the CD booklet. With some corrections by Enrico Crisostomo and by me.

Note that the stanza printed in italics above is not sung by Loreena.

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last modified: 4 November 2022