From childish days I never heard
My own baptismal name;

From childish days I never heard
My own baptismal name;
Too small, too slight, too full of glee
Aught else but "little Fan" to be,
The stately "Frances" not in me
Could any fitness claim.

Now, in the crowded halls of life,
May it be mine to bring
Some gentle stir of the heated air,
Some coolness falling fresh and fair,
Like a passing angel's wing.

My father's name–oh how I love
Its else unwonted look!
For his dear sake right dear I hold
Each letter, changed as he has told
Long since from early Saxon mould,
"The rising of the brook."**

Of music, holiness, and love
That name will always tell,
While sacred chant and anthem rise,
Or mourners live whose deepest sighs
To echoes of a Father's will
He tuned, or child or grandchild still
On his bright memory dwell.

But "what the R doth represent,"
I value and revere;
A diamond clasp it seems to be
On golden chains enlinking me
In loyal love to England's hope,
Bulwark 'gainst infidel and Pope,
The Church I hold so dear.

Three hundred years ago was one,
Who held with steadfast hand
That chalice of the truth of God,
And poured its crystal stream abroad
Upon the thirsting land.

The moderate, the wise, the calm,
The learned, brave, and good,***
A guardian of the sacred ark,
A burning light in places dark,
For cruel, changeless Rome a mark,
Our Bishop RIDLEY stood.

The vengeance of that foe naught else
But fiery doom could still:
Too surely fell the lightning stroke
Upon that noble English oak,
Whose aeorn-memory survives
In forest ranks of earnest lives,
And martyr-souls in will.

Rome offered life for faith laid down:
Such ransom paid not he!
"As long as breath is in this frame,
My Lord and Saviour Christ His name
And His known truth I'll not deny:"
He said (and raised his head on high),
"God's will be done in me."****

He knelt and prayed, and kissed the stake,
And blessed his Master's name
That he was called His cross to take,
And counted worthy for His sake
To suffer death and shame.****

Though fierce the fire and long the pain,
The martyr's God was nigh;
Till from that awful underglow
Of torture terrible and slow,
Above the weeping round about,
Once more the powerful voice rang out
His Saviour's own last cry.

Oh faithful unto death!  the crown
Was shining on thy brow,
Before the ruddy embers paling,
And sobbing aftergusts of wailing
Had died away, and left in silence
That truest shrine of British islands,
That spot so sacred now!

In dear old England shineth yet
The candle lit that day;
Right clear and strong its flames arise,
Undimmed, unchanged, toward the skies,
By God's good grace it never dies,
A living torch for aye.

'T is said that while he calmly stood
And waited for the flame,
He gave each trifle that he had,
True relic-treasure, dear and sad,
To each who cared to claim.
I was not there to ask a share,
But reverently forever wear
That noble martyr's name.

~ Frances Ridley Havergal

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