Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/249
224 RIDLEY AND LATIMER.
And quick, with sacrilegious hand, they bind The guiltless victims.
But the one who seemed The lowest bent with age, now strongest rose To give away his spirit joyously ; And, throwing off his prison garments, stood In fair, white robes, as on his spousal day. Then Ridley, in whose veins the pulse beat strong With younger life, girded himself to bear The burning of his flesh, while Faith portrayed, In glorious vision to his dazzled sight, The noble army of those martyred ones, Who round God s altar wait.
With wreathing spires
Up went the crackling flame, and that old man, Triumphant o er his anguish, boldly cried, " Courage, my brother ! We this day do light A fire in Christendom, that ne er shall die." Then on his shrivelled lip an angel s smile Settled, and life went forth as pleasantly As from a couch of down.
But Ridley bore
A longer sorrow. Oft with sigh and prayer He gave his soul to Jesus, ere the flame Dissolved that gordian knot which bound it fast To tortured clay. At length his blackened corse Fell at the feet of Latimer, who raised Still a calm brow to heaven. Almost it seemed That even in death the younger Christian sought,