Rightful Prince of Martyrs Thou
St. Stephen's Day: At Midnight.
See: Hymns to St Stephen
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.—Rev. ii.
Latin Text: O qui tuo Dux martyrum
Source: Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (London: J.G.F. & J. Rivington, 1839), pp. 58-59.
Rightful Prince of martyrs thou,
Bind thy crown about thy brow;
Fairer far than fading wreath,
Weave we this thy crown of death.
Like a gem each rugged stone,
Sparkling with thy life-blood, shone;
Nor could stars more brightly shine,
Studded round thy head divine.
From thy forehead's gushing streams
Dart a thousand blending beams,
Till thy glowing countenance
Lightens to an Angel's glance.
Thou the first-slain victim free
To Him, the Victim slain for thee:
Thou the first thy Lord to own,
Sharer of His thorny crown.
First to tread the pointed road
Through the deep Red sea of blood :—
Prince of martyrs, thee behind
What a countless army wind?
Thou of Virgin-mother born,
In this wintry world forlorn;
Jesu, Lord, all praise to Thee.
All glory be to Father, Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One,
Unto all eternity.