On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me......

.....Good king Wenceslas. 
   This old carol was written about a king who goes to feed a poor man on the feast of saint Stephen. During the journey, the page, who accompanies him, is about to give up because of the cold, but is enabled to continue by following step for step in the king's foot prints. The song ends with a biblical principal by saying, " you who now will bless the poor, will yourselves find blessing."  The king was modeled after a real king, Saint Wenceslas I,  Duke of Bohemia. He was known for His goodness and after his death in 935, he was called a martyr and and a whole sect grew up around him. They exaggerated his goodness to the point where he was considered not just a prince, but the father of all the wretched. Although Wenceslas was, during his lifetime, only a duke, Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, conferred on him the regal dignity of a king, and that is why, in  legends and songs, he is referred to as a "king".  So below is a very good rendition of the song, and in case you can not understand the words, I will post them below.
                                                                                            

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.

0 Responses