W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.
Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God serviceEdward Hayes Plumptre (18211891)
Let them decay and rot
There in the dungeon, where the mire is deep:
Curs’d be the lips that say
Our Law shall pass away,
And God’s eternal day
Shed the clear light of truth on blinded souls that sleep.
Take the sharp two-edged sword,
Let the earth drink the vile apostate’s blood;
He trusts an empty dream,
His lips our Book blaspheme;
To him our customs seem
Things of the past, outworn, but dimly understood.
The onward path we fear,
We keep the faith for which our fathers bled;
We will not yield one jot,
Let zeal be fierce and hot,
Smite them, and spare them not,
Till they their faith deny, or lie among the dead.”
From greatest to the least,
Yet strove in vain to check the march of Truth:
But onward still she moved,
Or hated or beloved,
To God and man approved,
Gathering her champions true, grey eld or bright-eyed youth.
The selfsame war we wage,
Our Master calls us thus to win His praise:
Our foes are active still,
And, as we mount the hill,
Their cries our senses thrill,
And oft the Spirit fails, and oft the footstep strays.
But on to Truth’s fair shrine,
They cannot stop thee, shall not turn thee back;
Be brave, but pity too,
They know not what they do,
Perchance thy prayer may woo
The nobler, purer souls to follow on thy track.
Ere sets thy spirit’s sun;
Dim eyes look out with martyr’s steadfast faith;
The promise shall not fail,
The truth shall yet prevail,
Our souls her triumph hail,
Love casting out all fear and life o’erpowering death.