John Milton comments on Darfur Awareness Week

With apologies to the poetic muse of John Milton, but not his political one — Milton would l think have understood, and forgiven the plagiarism.

Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered sons, whose bones

Lie scattered on the Sahel grasses sere;

Nor yet thy violated daughters’ fear

Before they fell to hate as hard as stones,

Forget: and in thy book record their groans

Who were thy sheep, with gun and bomb and spear

Slain by the bloody Sudanese. The drear

Survivor camps feed men, rot souls. Their moans

The plain redoubled to the dunes, and they

To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes stain

The paper shrouds that cynics weave and lay

To mute the crime with spiritless refrain;

Turn reptile tears to burning coals; in pain

The debt to justice make the murd’rers pay.

Copyright John Milton, 1655(the good bits)/James Wimberley 2006

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Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web