Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
July 16
From “The Fight of Faith”
By Anne Askew (1521–1546)
 
          Anne Askew was an Englishwoman who, in the reign of Henry VIII., was accused of heresy in regard to the sacraments and was burned on July 16, 1546.

LIKE as the armed knight
  Appointed to the field,
With this world will I fight,
  And faith shall be my shield.
 
Faith is that weapon strong,        5
  Which will not fail at need;
My foes, therefore, among
  Therewith will I proceed.
 
Thou sayst, lord, whoso knock,
  To them wilt thou attend,        10
Undo, therefore, the lock,
  And thy strong power send.
 
More enemies now I have
  Than hairs upon my head;
Let them not me deprave,        15
  But fight thou in my stead.
 
Not oft I used to write
  In prose, nor yet in rhyme;
Yet will I show one sight,
  That I saw in my time:        20
 
I saw a royal throne,
  Where Justice should have sit;
But in her stead was one
  Of moody, cruel wit.
 
Absorpt was rightwiseness,        25
  As by the raging flood;
Satan, in his excess,
  Sucked up the guiltless blood.
 
Then thought, I—Jesus, Lord,
  When thou shalt judge us all,        30
Hard is it to record
  On these men what will fall!
 
Yet, Lord, I thee desire,
  For that they do to me,
Let them not taste the hire        35
  Of their iniquity.
 
 
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