Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Become a Christmas Expert: King Wenceslas

As promised earlier this month, I will try to give you some tips on becoming a Christmas Expert, to guarantee that you will have the most merry Christmas of anyone on your block.

Today's lesson is on "Good King Wenceslas". Statistics show that if you can spell "Wenceslas" you are in the top 10% of Christmas practicioners. If you can sing the entire first verse, knowing the words by heart, you are in the top 5%! And if you can sing the entire song by heart, you are in the top .5% of Christmas celebrants.

So, go on and memorize GKW! Just imagine the looks of undisguised admiration and envy your friends will give you when you are out caroling, and you say, "Let's sing Good King Wenceslas." They will say, "But we do not know the words." And you will say, "Behold! Listen and enjoy this, my Christmas solo!"

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
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