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.
 
October 27
On a Portrait of Servetus
By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)
 
          Michael Servetus was a Spanish physician and controversialist who was burned for heresy on Oct. 27, 1553.

THOU grim and haggard wanderer, who dost look
With haunting eyes forth from the narrow page,
I know what fires consumed with inward rage
Thy broken frame, what tempests chilled and shook!
Ah, could not thy remorseless foeman brook        5
Time’s sure devourment, but must needs assuage
His anger in thy blood, and blot the age
With that dark crime which virtue’s semblance took!
Servetus! that which slew thee lives today,
Though in new forms it taints our modern air;        10
Still in heaven’s name the deeds of hell are done;
Still on the high-road, ’neath the noon-day sun,
The fires of hate are lit for them who dare
Follow their Lord along the untrodden way.
 
 
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