The Gates of Time and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

THE MARTYR


 

The dark square glimmers ’neath the morning skies,
    And issuing slowly through the sombre gate
    Come priest and monk, soldier and magistrate,
While, midst them, walks the prisoner, with his eyes
Bent on the ground, going to his sacrifice.
5
    He limps, from tortures wrought by powerless hate,
    He fronts wild wolves who for his life-blood wait,
Yet now he thrills with God’s own harmonies.

Fearless, he stands above the great, hushed crowd:
    He hears the monks drone out his burial song,

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        He feels the hot flames round the faggots creep;
And, as the thick smoke wraps him in a cloud,
    Which rolls to Heaven, his voice rings clear and strong—
        “Thy Kingdom come”: and so he falls asleep.