James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 16

Latimer and Ridley

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

  • Latimer and Ridley were two English reformers who were burnt for heresy under Queen Mary, Oct. 16, 1555.

  • HOW fast the Marian death-list is unrolled!

    See Latimer and Ridley in the might

    Of Faith stand coupled for a common flight!

    One (like those prophets whom God sent of old)

    Transfigured, from this kindling hath foretold

    A torch of inextinguishable light;

    The Other gains a confidence as bold;

    And thus they foil their enemy’s despite.

    The penal instruments, the shows of crime,

    Are glorified while this once-mitred pair

    Of saintly Friends the “murtherer’s chain partake,

    Corded, and burning at the social stake:”

    Earth never witnessed object more sublime

    In constancy, in fellowship more fair!