Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
III. On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
By John Milton (1608–1674)
 
AVENGE, 1 O Lord! thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
  Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
  Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
  When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones,
Forget not. In thy book record their groans        5
  Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
  Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that rolled
  Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
  To heaven. Their martyr’s blood and ashes sow        10
  O’er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway
The triple Tyrant; that from these may grow
  A hundred-fold, who having learnt thy way,
  Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
 
Note 1. In 1665, by order of the Duke of Savoy. It is delightful to be able to say, in this year 1856, that the slaughter has been “avenged” in a better manner than the stern poet desired; namely, by the erection of a Protestant Chapel in the capital of Piedmont, and under the auspices of a king of the Duke of Savoy’s house. [back]
 
 
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