(December 26th is the feast day of St. Stephen)
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. (or “…winter weather.”)
“Sire, the night is darker now, and the winds blow stronger; (or “…wind blows…”)
Fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer.” (or “…can not go longer.”)
“Mark my footsteps, my good page. Treadst thou in them boldly: (or “Tread now…”)
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.” (or “Thou should find…”)
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.