ST. THOMAS MORE AND ST. JOHN FISHER
When Herod, for an impious bride,
His eager lust would fain fulfil,
John in that hour a martyr died,
Unschooled to serve a tyrant’s will.
Nor less resolved, when Norman rage
The rights of holy Church gainsaid,
That wanton fury to assuage
Thomas his glorious blood must shed.
So, when a tyrant fiercer yet
His wedlock and his faith forswore,
A second John his sentence met,
A second Thomas witness bore.
Time-serving priests their aid might lend,
Smooth courtiers tremble at his sway;
Two loyal hearts no force could bend
Their God, their conscience to betray.
O love that burned when love grew cold,
O faith that shone when faith was dim,
The Cross your Master bore of old
You bore to Calvary with him.
Twin beacon-lights, serenely set
At God’s right hand for all the earth,
Look down on England, nor forget
The thankless home that gave you birth;
To freedom and to wisdom friends,
Look on a world unwisely free;
To bear the cross our Master sends
How slow, how frail, how faint are we!
To God, who crowns his saints above,
Be praise henceforth as heretofore,
Who throned in perfect truth and love
Liveth and reigneth evermore.
R. A. KNOX
Westminster Hymnal (1939)