Poetry of Joyce Kilmer
Trees and Other Poems

St. Laurence

Within the broken Vatican
 The murdered Pope is lying dead.
The soldiers of Valerian
 Their evil hands are wet and red.

Unarmed, unmoved, St. Laurence waits,
 His cassock is his only mail.
The troops of Hell have burst the gates,
 But Christ is Lord, He shall prevail.

They have encompassed him with steel,
 They spit upon his gentle face,
He smiles and bleeds, nor will reveal
 The Church's hidden treasure-place.

Ah, faithful steward, worthy knight,
 Well hast thou done. Behold thy fee!
Since thou hast fought the goodly fight
 A martyr's death is fixed for thee.

St. Laurence, pray for us to bear
 The faith which glorifies thy name.
St. Laurence, pray for us to share
 The wounds of Love's consuming flame.