Christmas- Good King Wenceslas vocabulary and storytelling


Listening and speaking based on the Xmas carol

By: Alex Case
Level: Advanced
Topic: Religion
Grammar Topic: Vocabulary

Good King Wenceslas vocabulary and storytelling

Try to guess the order of these events in the story of Good King Wenceslas, then listen to the song and/ or read the lyrics below to check your answers

  1. The servant found that the king’s footsteps radiated heat and kept him warm
  2. King Wenceslas saw the man
  3. It snowed
  4. A man started collecting wood for a fire
  5. The servant said that the wind was too strong and he couldn’t go on
  6. He asked his servant where the man lived
  7. The king told his servant to collect logs, meat and wine to take to the man’s house
  8. The king and the servant started walking towards the man’s house
  9. The servant told him that the man lived far away in the mountains
  10. The king told him to walk behind him and step into his footsteps in the snow



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 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 


Find old fashioned words in the song that mean these things in modern English:

  • Your
  • You know
  • Sir
  • Shall
  • Servant
  • Here
  • Sir
  • About 5.5 kilometres
  • Meat
  • Over there
  • Where does he live?
  • You
  • Earth
  • Poor farmer
  • Boxing Day
  • I can’t go on
  • Look at



  • Do you think that there could be any truth in this story?
  • Why do you think it’s a popular Xmas song, even though it doesn’t mention Xmas?
  • What is the moral of this story? Do you think it makes its point well?
  • What other Xmas stories do you know? What are their morals, do you think?



Work together to make another Xmas story with a clear moral, then compare stories with other groups. Your teacher will tell you if/ what you should write, and if you can use sources or not.

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