W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.
The Martyrdom of StephenAdam of St. Victor (d. 1146)
Join’d the world in celebration
Of her promis’d Saviour’s birth;
Yesterday the Angel nation
Pour’d the strains of jubilation
O’er the Monarch born on earth.
By his faith and actions glorious,
By his miracles renown’d,
Dared the Deacon Protomartyr,
Earthly life for Heav’n to barter,
Faithful midst the faithless found.
Certain of a certain laurel,
Holy Stephen, persevere!
Perjur’d witnesses confounding,
Satan’s Synagogue astounding
By thy doctrine true and clear.
Bright and faithful proof He giveth
Of His martyr’s blamelessness:
Thou by name a Crown impliest;
Meetly then in pangs thou diest
For the Crown of Righteousness!
Bear the torturer’s brief endeavour:
Victory waits to end the strife:
Death shall be thy birth’s beginning,
And life’s losing be the winning
Of the true and better Life.
Whom celestial sight embueth,
Stephen penetrates the skies;
There God’s fullest glory viewing,
There his victor strength renewing,
For his near reward he sighs.
See how Jesus stands to aid thee:
Stands to guard His champion’s death:
Cry that opened Heaven is shown thee:
Cry that Jesus waits to own thee:
Cry it with thy latest breath!
For his murderers he appealeth,
And his prayer their pardon sealeth,
For their madness grieving sore;
Then in Christ he sleepeth sweetly,
Who His pattern kept completely.
And with Christ he reigneth meetly,
Martyr first-fruits, evermore! Amen.