Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences, Saint John Nepomucene, Vespers I

The unconquered Hero of the Lord,
Menaced with drowning in the flood,
When asked about the sacred Seal,
Brave in undaunted silence stood.

The King then threatens him with death
His flesh is torn with torments dire;
His hands are bound with cruel cords;
His limbs are burned with torturing fire.

But John their cruelty contemns,
Nor fears the royal wrath to feel;
He will not tell the secrets known,
He fears to violate the Seal.

The harmless lamb in silence stands,
Nor tells what he should sacred keep;
Silent he stands; the baffled king
Hurls down the Saint into the deep.

He headlong from on high is thrown
Into the depths of the great stream,
But dancing fires upon the waves,
Salute the martyr with their gleam.

For stars upon the river float,
And to his obsequies bring light,
And thus the glorious Heaven itself
Declares John’s charity so bright.

Grant us, Eternal Trinity,
Firm fortitude in doing good,
Or if we fall, to drown our sins,
By pouring forth of tears a flood. Amen.

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