The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hail, Infant Martyrs, New-born Victims, Hail!

For Innocent's Day: Matins.

See The Hymns Of The Holy Innocents

Latin: Salvete, Flores Martyrum, No. 46.

Source: Rev. John Chandler, The Hymns of the Primitive Church (London: John W. Parker, 1837), pp. 52-53.

Hail, infant martyrs, new-born victims, hail!
    Hail, earliest flowerets of the Christian spring !
O'er whom, like rosebuds scattered by the gale,
    The cruel sword such havoc dared to fling.

The Lord's first votive offerings of blood,
    First tender lambs upon the altar laid,
Around in fearless innocence they stood,
    And sported gaily with the murderous blade.

Oh! what availed thee, Herod, this thy guilt,
    This load of crime that on thy conscience lies ?
The Lord alone, whose blood thou would'st have spilt,
    Now mocks thy malice, and thy power defies.

Yes! he alone survived, when all the ground
    Drank the red torrents of that carnage wild;
Though many a childless mother wailed around,
    The hand of murder spared the Virgin's child!

O Jesu, Virgin-born! all praise to Thee,
    And to the Father, and the Holy Ghost;
One God eternal, ever honoured be,
    By saints on earth, and by the heavenly host.

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