Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
The Martirs
XVIII. William Byrd
HOW do I vse my paper, ink, and pen,
And call my wits to counsel what to say!
Such memories were made for mortall men—
I speak of saintes, whose names cannot decaye:
An angel’s trump were fitter for to sound        5
Their glorious death, if such on earth were found.
That store of such were once on earth pursu’d,
The histories of auncient times record,
Whose constancie great tirants’ rage subdued,
Through patient death professing Christ their Lord:        10
As his apostles perfect witnesse bere,
With many more that blessed martirs were:
Whose patience rare and most couragious minde,
With fame renoun’d, perpetuall shall endure;
By whose examples we may rightly finde        15
Of holie life and death a patterne pure.
That we, therefore, their vertues may embrace,
Pray we to Christ to guide vs with his grace.

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