The True Heroes or the Noble Army of Martyrs
You who love a tale of glory,
Listen to the song sing;
Heroes of the Christian story.
Are the heroes whom I bring.
Warriors of the world, avaunt!
Other heroes me engage;
æTis not such as you I want,
Saints and Martyrs grace my page.
Warriors who the world subdue.
Were but vain and selfish elves;
While my heroes good and true,
Greater far, subduÆd themselves.
Fearful Christian ! hear with wonder,
Of the Saints of whom I tell;
Some were burnt, some sawn asunder,
Some by fire or tortureÆ fell.
Some to savage beasts were hurlÆd.
Some survivÆd the lionÆs den ;
Was a persecuting world,
Worthy of these wondÆrous men?
Some in fiery furnace thrown,
Yet escap’d, unsingÆd their hair;
There Almighty powÆr was shown,
For the Son of God was there.
Now we crown with deathless fame,
Those who scornÆd and hated fell;
Worldlings fear contempt and shame,
Christians fear but sin and hell.
How the shower of stones descended,
Holy Stephen on thy head!
While thy tongue the truth defended,
How the glorious Martyr bled!
See his fierce reviler Saul,
How he rails with impious breath!
Then observe converted Paul,
Oft in perils, oft in death.
æTwas that God whose soverign power,
Did the lionÆs fury swage,
Could again in one short hour,
Still the persecutorÆs rage.
EvÆn a womanùwomen hear,
Read in Maccabees the story !
ConquerÆd nature, love and fear.
To obtain a crown of glory.
Seven stout sons she saw expire,
(How the mothers soul-was painÆd!)
Some by sword, and some by fire.
How the Martyr was sustain’d!
Even in death’s acutest anguish,
Each the tyrant still defyÆd;
Each she saw in torture languish,
Last of all the mother dyÆd
Martyrs who were thus arrested,
In their short but bright career,
By their blood the truth attested,
ProvÆd their faith and love sincere.
ThoÆ their lot was hard and lowly,
ThoÆ they perishÆd at the stake;
Now they live with God in glorv,
Since they suffer’d for his sake.
Fierce and unbelieving foes,
But their bodies could destroy;
Short, thoÆ bitter were their woe,
Everlasting is their joy.
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