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Thus all his life to come is loss and shame;
All this Uzziah's strength and wit repairs, Leaving a well-built greatness to his heirs ; Till leprous scurf, o'er his whole body cast, Takes him at first from men, from earth at last. As virtuous was his son, and happier far; Buildings his peace, and trophies graced his war. But Achaz heaps up sins, as if he meant To make his worst forefathers innocent: He burns his son at Hinnom, whilst around The roaring child drums and loud trumpets sound : This to the boy a barbarous mercy grew, And snatch'd him from all miseries to ensue. Here Peca comes, and hundred thousands fall; Here Resin marches up,
wrong; But woe to kingdoms that have friends too strong!
Thus Hezekiah the torn empire took, And Assur's king, with his worse gods, forsook ; Who to poor Judah worlds of nations brings, There rages, utters vain and mighty things ; Some dream of triumphs, and exalted names, Some of dear gold, and some of beauteous dames; Whilst, in the midst of their huge sleepy boast, An angel scatters death through all the host. The' affrighted tyrant back to Babel hies, There meets an end far worse than that he flies.
Here Hezekiah's life is almost done!
Yet from this root a goodly cion springs; Josiah, best of men, as well as kings. Down went the calves, with all their gold and cost; The priest then truly grieved Osiris lost; These mad Egyptian rites till now remain'd; Fools! they their worser thraldom still retain'd! In his own fires Moloch to ashes fell, And no more flames must have besides his hell; Like end Astarte's horned image found, And Baal's spired stone to dust was ground: No more were men in female habit seen, Nor they in men's, by the lewd Syrian queen: No lustful maids at Benos' temple sit, And, with their bodies' shame, their marriage get: The double Dagon neither nature saves, Nor flies she back to the' Erythræan waves. The travelling sun sees gladly from on high His chariots burn, and Nergal quenched lie; The king's impartial anger lights on all, From fly-blown Accaron to the thundering Baal
Here David's joy unruly grows, and bold,
Jehoias and Jehoi'chim next appear;
which before was near: He in Egyptian fetters captive dies, This by more courteous anger murder'd lies. His son and brother next do bonds sustain, Israel's now solemn and imperial chain. Here's the last scene of this proud city's state; All ills are met tyed in one knot of Fate. Their endless slavery in this trial lay; Great God had heap'd-up ages in one day: Strong works around the wall the Chaldees build, The town with grief and dreadful business filld ; To their carved gods the frantic women pray, Gods, which as near their ruin were as they. At last in rushes the prevailing foe, Does all the mischief of proud conquest show: The wondering babes from mothers' breasts are
rent, And suffer ills they neither fear'd nor meant; No silver reverence guards the stooping age, No rule or method ties their boundless rage: The glorious temple shines in flame all o'er, Yet not so bright as in its gold before : Nothing but fire or slaughter meets the eyes ; Nothing the ear but groans and dismal cries. The walls and towers are levelled with the ground, And scarce aught now of that vast city's found
But shards and rubbish, which weak signs might Of forepast glory, and bid travellers weep. [keep Thus did triumphant Assur homewards pass, And thus Jerusalem left, Jerusalem that was !
This Zedekiah saw, and this not all; Before his face his friends and children fall, The sport of insolent victors ; this he views, A king and father once! ill Fate could use His eyes no more to do their master spite ; All to be seen she took, and next his sight. Thus a long death in prison he outwears; Bereft of grief's last solace, even his tears.
Then Jeconiah's son did foremost come, And he who brought the captived nation home: A row of worthies in long order pass’d O'er the short stage; of all old Joseph last. Fair angels pass'd by next in seemly bands, All gilt, with gilded baskets in their hands : Some, as they went, the blue-eyed violets strew, Some, spotless lilies in loose order threw; Some did the way with full-blown roses spread, Their smell divine, and colour strangely red; Not such as our dull gardens proudly wear, Whom weathers taint, and winds’rude kisses tear; Such, I believe, was the first rose's hue, Which at God's word in beauteous Eden grew; Queen of the flowers which made that orchard gay! The morning blushes of the spring's new day.
With sober pace an heavenly maid walks in, Her looks all fair ; no sign of native sin Through her whole body writ; immoderate grace Spoke things far more than human in her face: It casts a dusky gloom o'er all the flowers ! And with full beams their mingled light devours !
An Angel straight broke from a shining cloud, And press’d his wings, and with much reverence
bow'd ; Again he bow'd, and grave approach he made, And thus his sacred message sweetly said :
Hail, full of Grace! thee the whole world
shall call Above all bless'd; Thee, who shalt bless them all. Thy virgin womb in wondrous sort shall shroud Jesus the God (and then again he bow’d); Conception the great Spirit shall breathe on thee; Hail thou! who must God's wife, God's mother,
be !” With that, his seeming form to heaven he rear'd She low obeisance made, and disappear'd, Lo! a new star three eastern sages see (For why should only earth a gainer be?) They saw this Phosphor's infant-light, and knew It bravely usher'd in a Sun as new : They hasted all this Rising Sun to' adore ; With them rich myrrh and early spices bore : Wise men ! no fitter gift your zeal could bring; You'll in a noisome stable find
your King. Anon a thousand devils run roaring in ; Some with a dreadful smile deform’dly grin; Some stamp their cloven paws, some frown, and tear The gaping snakes from their black-knotted hair; As if all grief, and all the rage of hell, Were doubled now, or that just now they fell: But, when the dreaded maid they entering saw, All fled with trembling fear and silent awe. In her chaste arms the eternal infant lies, The' Almighty voice changed into feeble cries. Heaven contain’d virgins oft, and will do more; Never did virgin contain Heaven before.