Paradise of Martyrs
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In Five Books.

"THE PARADISE OF MARTYRS"—as I informed my readers when it appeared, in 1873—is but the half of an intended Poem.  The Martyrs of the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and other countries were to have been actors and speakers in the after-half of the book.  But a man in his seventy-third year begins to feel that his time is gone for rhyming—especially when he believes that he has an active work of imperative duty on his hands.  So "The Paradise of Martyrs"—like so many other designs of poor mortals—must remain a fragment.





I DEDICATE this book to you who sought
Me out, when you had read my Prison-Rhyme—
Disdainful of what cowards and serviles thought
Of one who had worn the fetters for no crime—
But only had lived and striven before his time,
And let his heart impel him to the deed
Of championship defiant for the Poor,
Their right to live by labour, and be freed
Indeed—not mocked with freedom—on the shore
Where Freedom hath her boast.
                                           Kindness doth breed
Grateful remembrance in the inmost core
Of true men's hearts, when done to them in need.

Let me be named with those who ne'er forget
A kindness: reckoning it a great life-debt.

    My friend, our lot in stormful time is cast;
And who to God and Conscience, reverent, own
Inviolable fealty should hold fast
Each other's hands, in spite of peasants' frown
Or nobles'.   Your great path of Duty strown
With difficulty may be for many a day;
And, sometimes, you may have to strive alone;
But shoulder to shoulder with you, in the fray,
Shall stand the good and true, when heat is gone,
And party spleen,—and all perceive dismay
At serried foes doth never cast you down,
Nor difficulty your patient courage allay;

But your consistent course to all men shews
What you are now you will be to Life's close.

    I shall not live to see your toil complete;
But know your steady aim to the end will be
Still to preserve Old England the firm seat
Of grandest freedom, and to give the key
Of knowledge unto all.   Felicity
The highest that our fatherland can share
You wish to see her win: that every child
Be trained so wisely and well, it may with care
The laws which freemen love keep undefiled,
Nor heedless be of holier laws that bear
The Maker's fiat.   Toiling, unbeguiled
By smiles, unquelled by frowns, the pearl still wear

Of an unsullied conscience, and your joy
Throughout Life's path, no censure shall destroy!




EXORDIUM.—The changes of years—Growth and evils of Ritualism—The working-classes—The eternal future.  DREAM—A floral region in Paradise—Strain of music—Chorus of infant voice—Vision of English Martyrs: Latimer, Ridley, Lord Cobham, Bishop Hooper, Bilney, 'praying Bradford,' Philpot, Anne Askew, John Rogers, Lawrence Saunders, Bainham, Tomkins the weaver, Tomas Hawkes, the boy Hunter, Farrar, Lambert, Rowland Taylor, and Cranmer; and of the Scottish Martyrs: Patrick Hamilton, George Wishart, and Renwick; and their converse, on their errands to earth, as consolers of the suffering and sorrowful—Chorus of Martyrs as they ascend the terraced mountains—Entrancing view of the New Jerusalem—Angels open the pearly gates of the city of gold, and the Martyr-hosts march in—Vision of Heaven—Choral worship of Martyrs, angels, infant spirits, and men—Departure again of Martyr souls to earth, as 'ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation.'


EXORDIUM.—Rapture of gathering the flowers and hearing the sounds of Spring: the wood-sorrel, primrose, blue-bell, violet, geum rivale, golden saxifrage: the cuckoo, stockdove, yellow-hammer, linnet, lark, blackbird, and woodpecker at work mocked by the jay and magpie: the herb Paris, orchids, fern, crowfoots, and lilies of the valley—Memory of a Mother—The starworts, ground-ivy, speedwell, pilewort, daisy, and muscatel: Throstle's nest—Evening task.  DREAM.—Vision, in Paradise, of the martyred Apostles, Fathers, and Prophets; Paul, Peter, James the brother of John, James the Just, Stephen, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Simeon, Ignatius, Isaiah, Abel, Zacharias, and John the Baptist; and their converse—Stephen leads the choral song, as they climb the terraced mountains to enter heaven.


EXORDIUM.—The Sea, seen from the shore of Cumberland—Thoughts of eternity—Dread of death—Confidence in our immortality—Evening task, of teaching peasants, contrasted with the treat of addressing artisans and mechanics—Cruel treatment and neglect of English peasant children.  DREAM.—Sleep on Croyland Fen, and dream within a dream—Vision, in Paradise, of the meeting of Mediæval with Quaker Martyrs: Winfred of Crediton, Eoban, and Adalbere, with James Parnell, Edward Burrough, John Trowell, Richard Hubberthorn, Francis Howgill, Mary Dyar, William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, and William Leddra; and their converse—Choral song, as they climb the terraced mountains.


EXORDIUM.—Invocation to the Moon—Old superstitions—The Fairies: Newton, and his simple faith, contrasted with the Atheism of modern science: the stars—Love of existence—Reminiscences of the Past—Robert Owen and Louis Blanc—Communism and its fatal excesses in Paris—Fear for England.  DREAM. —Vision of flowers, in Paradise: giant bell-flower, grass of Parnassus, Trientalis, fairy orchis, pyrola, gymnadenia, and lady's tress—The French Martyrs: Claude Brousson, Dumas, Fulcran Rey, Guion, Bonnemere, Olivier Souverain, the brothers Du Plans, David Quet, Pierre de Bruis, Henri 'the false hermit'—The Martyrs of Lyons, Toulouse, Gascony, Dauphiny, Lorraine and Picardy—The Albigenses and Vaudois of Provence—Prayer of the united Martyrs of France—Approach of the Martyrs of Madagascar, under the reign of the usurping Queen Ranavalona; the maiden Rasalama, the youth Rafaralahy, and others of the Malagasy—They are greeted by the French Martyrs—Approach of the Martyrs of ancient Gaul: Irenæus, Pothinus, Sanctus, Maturis, Vettius, and Blandina—The combined host of Martyrs ascend the terraced mountains.


EXORDIUM.—Winter on Morecambe sands—The lonely sea and the Cumberland mountains—Memory of a friend, in youth—His dying wish—Longings to know the Eternal Future—Littleness and ignorance of Man, and wisdom and equity of the government of God—Farewell to the sea—and entrance on the busy scenes of manufacturing Lancashire—Memory of Sir Robert Peel and the abolition of the Corn Laws—No more ragged crowds of poor men debating on 'the Rights of Man'—Fulness of work and more building of mills—Forfeiture of independence by working men, and their disregard of political freedom—Evening task—News of the death of Mazzini—Lines to his great memory.  DREAM.—Vision of the spirits, in Paradise, of Italian Martyrs: Savonarola, Arnold of Brescia, Arnulph, and the martyrs of Piedmont, Naples, Apulia, and Calabria; the martyrs of Venice. Giulio Ghirlanda, Antonio Ricotta, Francis Spinula, and Fra Baldo Lupetino, the martyrs of Rome: Bartolomeo Bartoccio: their converse, and prayer for Italy—Approach of the Martyrs of Italy under the power of Paganism: Early Popes, Agnes the virgin, and Laurence: martyrs of the persecutions under Diocletian, Valerian, Commodus, Decius, Maximian and Severus—Story of young Giulio related by Apollonius—Arrival of the Martyrs of the Valleys—Memory of Cromwell—Martyrs by the fell Inquisition—The Hand of Light and ascent of the Martyrs to their worship before the Throne.



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