Scripture Verse

The first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. Revelation 14:4

Introduction

portrait
John B. Dykes
(1823–1876)

Words: Au­re­li­us Pru­den­ti­us, 413, cen­to (Sal­ve­te flo­res mar­tyr­um). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Hen­ry W. Bak­er in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1875. The me­ta­phor of the mur­dered child­ren as flow­ers re­calls how St. Au­gus­tine des­cribed them as buds, killed by the frost of per­se­cu­tion the mo­ment they showed them­selves.

Music: Sal­ve­te Flo­res John B. Dykes, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Henry W. Baker
(1821–1877)

Lyrics

Sweet flowerets of the martyr band,
So early plucked by cruel hand;
Like rosebuds by a tempest torn,
As breaks the light of summer morn.

First victims offered for the Lord,
Ye little knew your high reward,
As, at the very altar, gay
With palms and crowns ye seemed to play.

Ah! what availed King Herod’s wrath?
He could not stay your Savior’s path;
The Child he sought alone went free;
That Child is King eternally.

O Lord, the virgin born, to Thee
Praise, honor, might and glory be,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.