Latinised Hymns

Good King Wenceslas looked out

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,
thou 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,
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.


Bonus ut Bohaemius
Rex prospiciebat,
terra sub Brumalibus
nivibus latebat.
Male luna temperat
hiemem nocentem,
pauperemque illuminat
ligna colligentem.

"Huc, puer, et ille quis
rusticus sit homo
dic et, id si forte scis,
qua tegatur domo."
"Distat eius hinc casa
subiacetque monti,
silvae saepi proxima
Virginisque fonti."

"Taedas cumque poculis
carnem conferamus,
quis cenare traditis
illum videamus!"
Prorsus rex et servulus
una sunt profecti,
raucis tempestatibus
hiemique obiecti.

"Fit caligo nigrior;
ventus ecce crescens!
Longius prodire cor
prohibet languescens."
"Quas premo premens nives
pone si sequere,
frigus illud senties
lenius nocere."

Regis in vestigiis
ponit ille pedes:
fit vaporis in notis
aestuosa sedes.
Ergo bene locuples
hoc considerabit:

MM 11–15.12.96