Europe veiled her face

Unwithering youth in you renewed
Those rosy waters of your blood, –
The true Fons Juventutis; ye
Pass with conquest that Red Sea,
And stretch out your victorious hand
Over the Fair and Holy Land.
O by the Church’s pondering art
Late set and named upon the chart
Of her divine astronomy,
Through your influence from on high
Long shed unnoted! Bright
New cluster in our Northern night,
Cleanse from its pain and undelight
An impotent and tarnished hymn,
Whose marish exhalations dim
Splendours they would transfuse!
And thou Kindle the words which blot thee now,
Over whose sacred corse unhearsed
Europe veiled her face, and cursed
The regal mantle grained in gore
Of genius, freedom, faith, and More!

Ah, happy Fool of Christ, unawed
By familiar sanctities,
You served your Lord at holy ease
Dear Jester in the Courts of God –
In whose spirit, enchanting yet,
Wisdom and love together met,
Laughed on each other for content!
That an inward merriment,
An inviolate soul of pleasure,
To your motions taught a measure
All your days; which tyrant king,
Nor bond’s, nor any bitter thing,
Could embitter or perturb;
No daughter’s tears, nor, more acerb,
A daughter’s frail declension from
Thy serene example, come
Between thee and thy much content.
Nor could the last sharp argument
Turn thee from thy sweetest folly
To the keen accolade and holy
Thou didst bend low a sprightly knee,
And jest Death out of gravity
As a too sad-visaged friend;
So, jocund passing to the end
Of thy laughing martyrdom;
And now from travel art gone home
Where, since gain of thee was given,
Surely there is more mirth in heaven

–from “To the English Martyrs”

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