Voices of Earlier English: John Milton wants some holy payback

In 1655, 2000 Waldensians were massacred (and another 2000 forcibly converted to Catholicism) in Piedmont by the Catholic troops of Charles Emmanuel II.

Conservative elite London accent ca. mid 1600s.

On the Late Massachre in Piemont
John Milton

Avenge O Lord thy slaughter'd Saints, whose bones
  Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold,
  Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old
  When all our Fathers worship't Stocks and Stones,
Forget not: in thy book record their groanes
  Who were thy Sheep and in their antient Fold
  Slayn by the bloody Piemontese that roll'd
  Mother with Infant down the Rocks. Their moans
The Vales redoubl'd to the Hills, and they
  To Heav'n. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow
  O're all th' Italian fields where still doth sway
The triple Tyrant: that from these may grow
  A hunder'd-fold, who having learnt thy way
  Early may fly the Babylonian wo.


  1. Thank you posting this splendid piece!

  2. This actually sounds a lot more like Crystal's reconstruction with some Scottish features to it (in my head, it's like a mixture of David Crystal and Colum Mackenzie :p ). But I guess there's logic in there, because you mentioned in one of your blogposts that Crystal relies to much on evidence written decades after the Shakespearean period for his reconstructions and a certain shunning of the alveolar trill for an r... I think this sounds quite lovely!