Billeder på siden

Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd thorgh firm,
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite

Worship'd in Rabba and hier watcry plain,
In Aryob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon; Nor content with such
Audacious neiglıbo'irliood, the wisest heart 400
of Solo.non ho led by fraud to build
fjis iemple right against the temple of God
On that opprobrious hill: and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call’d, the type of Heil. 405
Next, Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's song,
From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild
Of southmost Abarim ; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines; 410
And Eleälé to the Asphaltic pool.
Peor his other name, when he enticed
Israel in Sittim, on their marchi from Nile,
'To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful origics he enlarged

Even to that hill of scandal, by the grovo
Of Moloch homicide; lust hard by hate :
Till good Josiah drove them thence t3 Hell.
With these came they, who, from the bordering food
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts

Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baalim and Ashtaroth ; those' male,
These feminino ; For Spirits, when they plcase,
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure ,
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous Desh; but, in what shape they c#0098,
Dilaied or condensed, brigiit or obscure,
Can exccite their aery purposes,

430 And works of love or enmity fulfil.

r those the race of Israel oft forsook

[ocr errors]

Their Living Strength, and unfrequented lof
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
To bestial Gods, for which their heads as low 435
Bowd down in battle, sunk beforo iho spcar
of despicable foes. With these in troon
Came Astoreth, whom the Phænicians callid
Astarté, queen of Heaven, with crescent horns
To whose bright image nightly by the moon

440 Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs; In Sion also not unsung, where stood lier temple on the offensive mountain, built By that uxorious king, whose heart, though largo, Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell

4 45 To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured The Syrian damsels to lament his fate In amorous ditties all a sunimer's day ; While smooth Adonis from his native rock 450 Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love tale Infected Sion's daughters with like heat ; Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch: Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,

455 His cyc survey'd the dark idolatries Of alienated Judah. Next came one Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark Maim'd his brute image, head and hands !opp'd off In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,

400 Where he fell flat, and slamed his worshippers : Dagon his name, sea monster, upward man And downward fish: yet had his temple high Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,

405 And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds. Elim follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful soat Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks Of Abbana and Parphar, lucid streams. He also against the house of God was bold


A crew,

A leper once he lost, and gaind a king;
Aljaz, his soitish conqueror, whom he drew
God's altar to disparage, and displace,
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
His odious offerings, and adore the Gods
Whem he had vanquish’d. After these appear'd

who, under names of old renown,
Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abused
Fanatic Egypt, and her priests to seck

Their wandering Gods disguised in brutish forms
Rather than human. Nor did Israel scapo
Thic infection, when their borrow'd gold composed
'The calf in Oreb; and the resc! king
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,

Likening his Maker to the grazca ox;
Jehovah, who in one night, when he pass'd
From Egypt marching, equal’d with one stroko
Both her first-born and all her bleating Gods.
Belial camo last, than whom a Spirit more lewd 490
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
Vice for itself: to him no temple stood
Or altar smoked: yet who more oft than he
In temples and at altars, when the priest
Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd

With lust and violence the house of God?
In courts and palaces he also reigns,
And in luxurious cities, where the noise
Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
And injury and outrage: And when night 500
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
Exposed a matron, to avoid worse rape.

These were the prime in order, and in might;
The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
The 'onian Gods, of Javan's issue ; held

[ocr errors]

fods, yet confess'd later than Heaven and Earth,
Their boasted parents : Titan, Heaven's first-born, 510
With his enormous brood, and birthright seized
By younger Saturn; he from mignitier Jove,
His own and Rhea's son, like measure found;
Su Jovo usurping reign'do these first in Creta.
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top

Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air,
Their highest Heaven; or on the Delphian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Or Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,

520 And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.

All these and more came flocking; but with looks Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd Obscure soine glimpse of joy, in have found their Chief Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost 525 In loss itself: which on his countenance cast Like doubtful hue : but he, his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. 530 Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd His mighty standard. that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall; Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurld 535 The imperial ensign; which, full high advanced, Shono like a meteor streaming to the wind, With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed, Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds:

540 At which the universal host up sent A shout, that tore Hell's concave, and beyond Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. All in a moment through the gloom were seon Ten thousand banners rise into the air

545 With orient colours waving with them rose

A format huge of spears; and thronging helno
Appear d, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurablc : Anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood

Of flutes and soft recorders; such as raised
To hcght of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle ; and instead of rage
Deliberate valour breathcd, firm and unmovcd
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat ; 555
Nor wanting power to mitigate and suage
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chaso
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought, 500
Moved on in silence to soft pipes, that charm’d
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil: and now
Advanced in view they stand ; a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield ; 565
Awaiting what command their mighty Chief
Glad to impose : He through the armed files
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views; their order due ;
Cheir visages and stature as of Gods;

570 Their number last he sums. And now his heart Distends with pride, and hardening in his strength Glories : for never, since created man, Met such imbudied force, as named with these Could merit more than that small infantry 576 Warr'd on hy cranes; though all the giant brood Of Phlegra with the heroic race were join'd That fought at Thebes and lium, on each sido Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds In fable or romance of Uther's son

680 Begirt with British and Armoric knights; And all who since, baptized or intidel, Cousted in Aspramont, or Montall an, Vama sco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,

« ForrigeFortsæt »