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Satan rouses his followers with taunts

The numbers of his flying

host.

To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon 326
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern
The advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf ? —
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!' 330

They heard, and were abashed, and up they
sprung
Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
On duty sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight 335

In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their General's voice they soon obeyed
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Waved round the coast, upcalled a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind, 341

That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like Night, and darkened all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell, 345

'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal given, the uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain, — 350
A multitude like which the populous North

The infernal

Poured never from her frozen loins to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands. 3S6

Forthwith from every squadron and each band,
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Their great Commander — Godlike Shapes, and

Forms
Excelling human; Princely Dignities; 359

And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones,
Though of their names in Heavenly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and rased
By their rebellion from the Books of Life. leaders.

Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till, wandering o'er the

earth, 365

Through God's high sufferance for the trial of

man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and the invisible
Glory of Him that made them to transform 370
Oft to the image of a brute, adorned
With gay religions full of pomp and gold, —
And devils to adore for deities;
Then were they known to men by various names
And various idols, through the heathen world. 375
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first,

who last,
Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch,
At their great Emperor's call, as next in worth

The Muse invoked.

The chief
leaders, after-
wards gods
of the
heathen.

Moloch.

Came singly where he stood od the bare strand,
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. 3«o

The chief were those who, from the pit of Hell
Roaming to seek their prey on Earth, durst fix
Their seats, long after, next the seat of God,
Their altars by His altar, gods adored
Among the nations round, and durst abide 385
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
Between the Cherubim; yea, often placed
Within His sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned, 330

And with their darkness durst affront His light.

First, Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with
blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears —
Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud,
Their children's cries unheard that passed through
fire 395

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshiped in Rabba and her watery plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighborhood, the wisest heart 4°°

Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His temple right against the temple of God
On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna called, the type of Hell. 405

Next, Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's
sons,

From Aroar to Nebo and the wild

Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon

And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond Chemos, or

The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines, *"> Peor

And Eleale to the Asphaltic Pool —

Peor his other name, when he enticed

Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,

To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe —

Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged 416

Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove

Of Moloch homicide — lust hard by hate —

Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.

With these came they who, from the bordering

flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts 420

Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baalim and Ashtaroth — those male,
These feminine. For Spirits, when they please,
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure, 425 Ashtarotlli

Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they

choose,
Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,
Can execute their aery purposes, 430

And works of love or enmity fulfil.
For those the race of Israel oft forsook
Their Living Strength, and unfrequented left
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
To bestial gods; for which their heads, as low 435
Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes.

With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called
Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns;
To whose bright image nightly by the moon **<>

Astoreth. Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;
In Sion also not unsung, where stood
Her temple on the offensive mountain, built
By that uxorious king whose heart, though large,
Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell **5

To idols foul.

Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured

Thammuz, or The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
In amorous ditties all a summer'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, *55

His eye surveyed the dark idolatries
Of alienated Judah.

Next came one
Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark
Maimed his brute image, head and hands lopped

off
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, 46°

Where he fell flat, and shamed his' worshipers;
Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man
And downward fish; yet had his temple high
Reared in Azotus, dreaded through the coast
Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon, *ss

Dagon.

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