The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Little Flowers of Martyrdom

The Innocents' Day: At Midnight.

Suffer little children to come unto Me; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.ŚMatt. xix.

"Salvete, Flores Martyrum"

Source: Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (London: J.G.F. & J. Rivington, 1839), pp. 72-73.

Little flowers of martyrdom, 
    Whom the ruthless sword hath torn, 
    On the threshold of the morn, 
    Rosebuds by the whirlwind shorn! 

All regardless of their doom, 
    'Neath the altar where they lay, 
    With their palm and chaplets gay, 
    Little simple ones they play. 

Tyrant, what avails their tomb? 
    He shall 'scape the bloody blade, 
    Which hath many childless made, 
    Infant born of mother-maid. 

Thus the type of Him to come, 
    Restorer of lost Israel, 
    Moses 'scaped the tyrant fell, 
    Guarded by the Invisible. 

Jesu, born of Virgin's womb, 
    Father, Spirit, One and Three, 
    Sing we glory unto Thee, 
    Sing we everlastingly.

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