Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! - My Favorite Carol

Good King Wenceslas

The tune is based on a 13th century spring carol "Tempus adest floridum" ("It is time for flowering") first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones. The "Wenceslas" lyrics were written much later in 1853 by the English hymnwriter John Mason Neale and substituted for the original Latin (to which they bear no relation) in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore. According to older Czech sources, Neale's lyrics are a translation of a poem by Czech poet Václav Alois Svoboda, written in Czech, German and Latin.]

Good King Wenceslas looked out
on the feast of Stephen,
when the snow lay round about,
deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shown 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 thou 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 flesh, and bring me wine.
Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine
when we bear the 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.
Ark 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 step he trod,
where the snow lay dented.
Heat was in the very sod
which the saint had printed.
Therefore, all good men, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor
shall yourselves find blessing.

Merry Christmas to all my friends;
pray for peace people everywhere.


Kranfel aka Kling said...

Merry Xmas and I hope a marvellous 2011 to you! =)

Apmel said...

Praying never helped anyone. Like Malcolm X said: You can´t sing up a tree, but you can swing up a tree!

Keep swinging Miso :))

sororNishi said...

Yep, it's a great one.