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First of martyrs, thou whose name
doth thy golden crown proclaim,
not of flowers that fade away
weave we this thy crown to-day.
Bright the stones which bruise thee gleam,
sprinkled with thy life-blood's stream;
stars around thy sainted head
never could such radiance shed.
Every wound upon thy brow
sparkles with unearthly glow;
like an angel's is thy face,
beaming with celestial grace.
0 how blessed first to be
slain for him who bled for thee;
first like him in dying hour
witness to almighty power;
First to follow where he trod
through the deep Red Sea of blood;
first, but in thy footsteps press
saints and martyrs numberless.
Glory to the Father be,
glory, Virgin-born, to thee,
glory to the Holy Ghost,
praised by men and heavenly host.