The ostent evanescent, The substance of an artist’s mood or savan’s studies long, Or warrior’s, martyr’s, hero’s toils, To fashion his eidolon.
Those corpses of young men, Those martyrs that hang from the gibbets, those hearts pierc’d by the gray lead, Cold and motionless as they seem live elsewhere with unslaughter’d vitality.
The disdain and calmness of martyrs, The mother of old, condemn’d for a witch, burnt with dry wood, her children gazing on, The hounded slave that flags in the race, leans by the fence, blowing, cover’d with sweat, The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck, the murderous buckshot and the bullets, All these I feel or am.
5 Dead poets, philosophs, priests, Martyrs, artists, inventors, governments long since, Language-shapers on other shores, Nations once powerful, now reduced, withdrawn, or desolate, I dare not proceed till I respectfully credit what you have left wafted hither, I have perused it, own it is admirable, (moving awhile among it,) Think nothing can ever be greater, nothing can ever deserve more than it deserves, Regarding it all intently a long while, then dismissing it, I stand in my place…
When there are no more memories of heroes and martyrs, And when all life and all the souls of men and women are discharged from any part of the earth, Then only shall liberty or the idea of liberty be discharged from that part of the earth, And the infidel come into full possession.
The Wallabout Martyrs Greater than memory of Achilles or Ulysses, More, more by far to thee than tomb of Alexander, Those cart loads of old charnel ashes, scales and splints of mouldy bones, Once living men—once resolute courage, aspiration, strength, The stepping stones to thee to-day and here, America.
…the wife misused by her husband, I see the treacherous seducer of young women, I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love attempted to be hid, I see these sights on the earth, I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny, I see martyrs and prisoners, I observe a famine at sea, I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill’d to preserve the lives of the rest, I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes,…
…of thyself alone, not of the Western continent alone, Earth’s resume entire floats on thy keel O ship, is steadied by thy spars, With thee Time voyages in trust, the antecedent nations sink or swim with thee, With all their ancient struggles, martyrs, heroes, epics, wars, thou bear’st the other continents, Theirs, theirs as much as thine, the destination-port triumphant; Steer then with good strong hand and wary eye O helmsman, thou carriest great companions, Venerable priestly Asia…
) I see the clear sunsets of the martyrs, I see from the scaffolds the descending ghosts, Ghosts of dead lords, uncrown’d ladies, impeach’d ministers, rejected kings, Rivals, traitors, poisoners, disgraced chieftains and the rest.
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Many believe that all of the Apostles were martyred except John; however, the Bible reports only on the martyrdom of James.
For 250 years it was a martyrs’ church; the persecutions were fueled by the refusal of Christians to worship the state and the Roman emperor.
History of Christianity - Wikipedia -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity(retrieved 05/20/06)