The book of martyrs: Księga męczenników

Read, sweet, how others strove,
Till we are stouter;
What they renounced,
Till we are less afraid;
How many times they bore
The faithful witness,
Till we are helped,
As if a kingdom cared!

 

Read then of faith
That shone above the fagot;
Clear strains of hymn
The river could not drown;
Brave names of men
And celestial women,
Passed out of record
Into renown!

 

*****

 

Czytaj, kochanie, jak inni walczyli,
Nim my teraz silniejsi;
Czego się zrzekli,
Nim my mniej zlęknieni;
Jak wieleć przynosili
Szczere świadectwo,
Nim my wspomożeni,
Jakby dało królewstwo!

 

Czytaj o wierze
Co nad liktora zalśniła;
Hymnu linie rozczytaj
Co rzeka by nie zgłębiła;
Imiona mężczyzn dzielnych
I kobiet przednich,
Z zapisów przekazane
Do rozpoznania!

 

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE

Królewstwo is an older form of królestwo as in Karłowicz, Kryński, and Niedźwiecki, or Arct, for example (see the Resources). The poem does not refer to England. The form wieleć is not the verbal we can find in Arct; it is a form of wiele as in wiele razy, used also  today, meaning many times.

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