Good King Wenceslas


Good King Wenceslas

J M Neale

Translated into Latin by Timothy Adès
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 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 him 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, 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.
Good King Wenceslas
Wenceslaë, quas nives     prospicis, rex pie, crusta plana stabiles     Stephani in die! lunae lux trans tenebras     monstrat indigentem per pruinas horridas     ligna colligentem.   “Adsta, puer, propius,     narrans forsan testis: unde venit, quae domus,     quis est hic agrestis?” “Tria procul milia     redit hinc sub montem, silvae saepis incola     Agnes iuxta fontem.”   “Fer mi carnem, vinum fer,     pineis cum lignis: hunc visemus, minister,     dapibus benignis.” rex et puer protinus     una properatis, duris in frigoribus     raucae tempestatis.   “Princeps, nox fit caecior,     aquilo bacchatur. nescio quam languet cor:     progredi non datur.” “Vade passibus meis     sanguine tepenti, trucis expers hiemis,     vi non algens venti.”   Calcat passus domini     per nives ingressi: caespites sunt calidi     sancto pede pressi. ergo, potens vel dives,     credas et salveris! benedicens pauperes     tu benediceris.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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