Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
The Massacre of the Innocents
By Vittoria Colonna (1490–1547)
Translated by James Glassford, of Dougalston

PURE innocents, your lord, revealed so late,
  Departs, and leaves you unprotected quite;
  He wills that on your heads the storm should light,
  Averted from His own. Thrice happy fate!
Herod, his dark and fell revenge to sate,        5
  Crops the sweet flowers in bud! O baffled spite!
  He gives you thus unfading fruits and bright,
  And by short suffering, joys of endless date.
Snatched from the breast, not words but feeble cries
  Proclaim the martyrs, whom his deed hath crowned        10
  With palm and laurel from celestial groves.
No sooner are your silken shoulders found
  Fledged with the wing, O dear and infant loves,
  Than up to heaven at the first flight you rise.

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