Saturday, January 1, 2011

Arriverdeci Italia!

3:00 am: the church bells sound the hour. I lay there until my alarm goes off, then haul myself out of this skinny long bed, throw some water on my face, and get ready.

I find my groggy companions in the lobby. We pack breakfast, drink coffee, load Giorgio and pull out at 4:10, only 10 min. late. It’s a dark, cold morning. A shooting star waves a goodbye. The amber lights of Bobbio Pellice disappear in a long curve of the mountain switchback.

And so ends our time in the Pellice Valley. Our trek home begins…I will hit my own pillow 23 hours later…

Arrivederci Italia! Until the next time…

On the Late Massacre in Piedmont

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.

With the words of this sonnet the blind poet John Milton commemorated the terrible massacre of the Waldensians.

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