To Die a Martyr

I’m not afraid to die a martyr--

  But am afraid to die a fool.

It’s not with death I fear to barter,

  But folly I refuse to duel.

 

To die a martyrs death is gladness

  What higher honor could be mine?

To die for some adventure—madness.

  What good is death by man’s design?

 

A fool would put his life in danger

 For nothing but a little thrill,

But martyrs are considered stranger

  For trusting in the Father’s will.

 

A life that runs the risk of making

  The martyr’s crown it’s prized attire

Is not as dangerous as taking

  Adventure’s honors for your hire.

 

Society respects the daring,

  But I would call the man fool

Who risks his life without declaring

  The gospel as his guiding rule.

 

I’m not afraid to die a martyr,

  But am afraid to die a fool.

It’s not with death I fear to barter,

  But folly I refuse to duel.

 

Ezra Brainard, December 2017