Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences, Saint John Nepomucene, Martyr, Vespers II

The Lictor his torches and threatening sword
May fiercely produce, and his fetters of steel,
To use, if the secrets of conscience the priest
Refuse to reveal.

His strength he shall learn, and his courage prepared
His soul to yield up, for it cannot be quelled
By satellite’s rage, for his soul to the right
Unflinchingly held.

Thrown headlong, the martyr, in waters entombed,
Is drowned neath the calm river’s onflowing wave,
But that silent tongue, in the next world to use,
He is able to save.

For see, on the breast of the river so still,
Bright lights which are floating, and run to and fro,
Encircling the martyr, for Heaven thus willed
His glory to show.

And honour it gives to his tongue, which it keeps
All ruddy and bright, like the flame or the rose,
To show us the grace of that tongue, which will not
Things secret disclose.

Praise be to the Father and His Only Son,
And may the like praise to the Spirit be given,
Proceeding from Both, and of Love the pure flame,
By earth and by Heaven. Amen.

– translated by Archbishop Edward Gilpin Bagshawe, C.O., Bishop of Nottingham, England