The Martyr’s Apology (For Justin, Martyr)

I, Justin, the son of Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, natives of Flavia Neapolis in Palestine, present this address and petition in behalf of those of all nations who are unjustly hated and wantonly abused, myself being one of them.
(Justin Martyr, The First Apology of Justin, trans. James Donaldson and Alexander Roberts)
Some faced what I cannot bear to know:
Crosses, beheadings, Colosseum games;
The sport of the powerful and scared,
They longed for a city for strangers such as they;
I hide where they led.
And Justin, the philosopher of Palestine, pled
With reasoning heads and unopened hearts.
Impassioned in his plea
For their reason to trump passion,
He reasoned till he bled;
And I, on the sidelines,
Hold their coats and avoid their eyes
While he holds us spellbound with his call to the truth,
Crying for mercy but strong when denied:
He knew whom he trusted;
So Justin’s eyes stare firmly where
Mine dart to the ground; he stares down the kings
Who are but false kings, knowing the Kingdom,
And knowing the Truth, which I, in my safety,
Only faintly know.

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