(A Christian martyr in the Philippines in 1943)
All human progress up to God
Has stained the stairs of time with blood;
For every gain for Christendom,
Is bought by someone’s martyrdom,
Not ours alone, nor man’s alone.
In furnace fire, a faithful three,
Though bound in chains, in spirit free;
A Fourth drew near with shining feet
And walked with them through livid heat.
A king’s defeat! A king’s defeat!
On seething sea, in darkest night,
The shipwrecked saw a Walking Light,
Defying wave and wind and deep,
He put the wind and wave to sleep.
Ah, He will keep! Ah, He will keep!
With tend’rest touch He heals our ills,
And from His well of life He fills
With living water, strength divine,
Each thirsting branch of this His vine;
For He is mine, and He is mine!
For us He poured the crimson cup,
And bade us take and drink it up.
Himself He poured to set us free,
Help us, O Christ, though few we be,
To drink with Thee; To drink life’s cup with Thee.
Nor did He yet forget to pray
While midnight drifted toward the day.
Then from that hidden garden bower
He rose from prayer with Spirit power
To meet His zero hour, His zero hour.
Ten thousand saints come thronging home
From lion’s den and catacomb;
The fire and sword and beasts defied;
For Christ, their King, they testified,
And gladly died; they gladly died.
With eye of faith we see today
That Cross-led column wind its way, up life’s repeated Calvary,
Borne up by superhuman powers,
We rise to take the hill with ours,
O Christ, we follow Thee! We follow Thee!