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Published On: Thu, Dec 5th, 2013

Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas

[su_heading style=”1″][su_button link=”#” color=”#000080″ size=”5″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ radius=”10″ icon=” target=”blank”] Good King Wenceslas [/su_button][/su_heading]

John Mason Neale (24 January 1818 – 6 August 1866) was an Anglican priest, scholar and hymn-writer. Neale’s most enduring and widely known legacy is probably his contribution to the Christmas repertoire, most notably “Good Christian Men, Rejoice” and his original legendary Boxing Day carol, “Good King Wenceslas”.

Good King Wenceslaus has become one of the popular Christmas Carols that are frequently sung at this time of year. Little do most people realize that the “good king” was a real person, who is recognized as the patron saint of Bohemia by the Catholic Church, and that the song recounts the story about him. Neale based the lyrics of Good King Wenceslas on the life of a famed 10th century king of Bohemia. Catholic King Wenceslas (907-935) was revered as a very kind and generous ruler.

[su_pullquote align=”left”]The peasant almost froze to death in the frigid night air, but the good king instructed his aid to follow in his footsteps and to be brave against the cold.[/su_pullquote]

Bohemia usually refers to the western half of the Czech Republic but can also be a synonym for the entire Czech nation. Bohemia, as well as Moravia, the other half of the Czech Republic, have been predominately Slavic entities since the seventh century.

The verse from the carol tells of a cold winter night on the Feast of Saint Stephen, which would be the day after Christmas, also known as Boxing Day. King Wenceslaus went out with his page to gather firewood for a poor peasant who lived by a mountain. The peasant almost froze to death in the frigid night air, but the good king instructed his aid to follow in his footsteps and to be brave against the cold. The page survived the cold night-time activity and was hence blessed because he had helped the king to give alms to the poor.

Although the song does not refer to a particular Christmas event, because it is written about the day after Christmas but it is about a man who showed Christ’s love to the poor and needy which is the true spirit of Christmas.

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, 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 blow 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.

Abad of Jesus Christ,

  Stulo Robinson.S.

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====================================>>>Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31 <<<====================================