Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
The Slaughter of the Innocents
From the Roman Breviary
 
Translated by Edward Caswall

WHEN it reached the tyrant’s ear,
  Brooding, anxious, all alone,
That the King of kings was near,
  Who should sit on David’s throne;
 
Stung with madness, straight he cries,        5
  ‘Treason threatens—draw the sword!
Rebels all around us rise!
  Drown the cradles deep in blood!’
 
What is guilty Herod’s gain,
  Though a thousand babes he slay?        10
Christ, amid a thousand slain,
  Is in safety borne away.
 
Honour, glory, virtue, merit,
  Be to Thee, O Virgin’s Son!
With the Father and the Spirit        15
  While eternal ages run.
 
 
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