תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.

Him followed Rimmon, whose delightful seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
He also against the house of God was bold; *">
A leper once he lost, and gained a king — Kimmon.

Ahaz, his sottish 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 *■

Whom he had vanquished.

After these appeared A crew who, under names of old renown — Osiris, Isis

Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train — Orus.

With monstrous shapes and sorceries abused
Fanatic Egypt and her priests to seek 480

Their wandering gods disguised in brutish forms
Rather than human. Nor did Israel scape
The infection, when their borrowed gold composed
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan, *86

Likening his Maker to the grazed ox —
Jehovah, who, in one night, when he passed
From Egypt marching, equaled with one stroke
Both her first-born and all her bleating gods.

Belial came last, than whom a Spirit more
lewd r 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 filled 486

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. 505

These were the prime in order and in might;
The rest were long to tell, though far renowned
The Ionian gods — of Javan!s issue held
Gods, yet confessed later than Heaven and Earth,
Their boasted parents; — Titan, Heaven's first-
born, 51°
The gods of ,
Greece, With his enormous brood, and birthright seized

By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove,
His own and Rhea's son, like measure found;
So Jove usurping reigned. These, first in Crete
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top 515

Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air,
Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields, 520

And o'er the Celtic roamed the utmost isles.
All these and more came flocking, but with
looks
Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appeared
Obscure some glimpse of joy to 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 re-collecting, with high words, that bore
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised
Their fainting courage, and dispelled their fears, 530
Then straight commands that, at the warlike sound
Of trumpets loud and clarions, be upreared battle.

His mighty standard. That proud honor claimed
Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall,
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled 535
The imperial ensign; which, full high advanced,

Sbnnft ]ilrp a. mpfpnr atroaming lo iVin winrl

With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed,
Seraphic arms and trophies — all the while-
Sonorous metal blowingmartial sounds —~
At which the universal host up-sent
A shout that tore Hell's concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Eight,
All in a moment through the gloom were seen
Ten thousand banners rise into the air, 545

With orient colors waving; with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appeared, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable.

Anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood 550

Of flutes and soft recorders — such as raised
To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle, and instead of rage
Deliberate valor breathed, firm, and unmoved

[graphic]

Their Dorian With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; 555 martial jjor wanting power to mitigate and swage

With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and

pain
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force with fixed thought, 560
Moved on in silence to soft pipes that charmed
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 ordered spear and shield, 565 The review of Awaiting what command their mighty Chief the infernal jja(j ^0 imp0se. He through the armed files ° Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse

The whole battalion views, their order due,
Their 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 embodied force as, named with these,
Could merit more than that small infantry 575
Warred on by cranes — though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with the heroic race were joined
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
superiority to Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
all human In fable or romance of Uther's son, 580

armies. Begirt with British and Armoric knights;

And all who since, baptized or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,

Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore 585

When Charlemain with all his peerage fell
By Fontarabiba.

Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed
Their dread Commander. He, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudlyemjngnt, 590

Stood like a tower. His form had yet not lost
All her original brightness, nor appeared
Less than Archangel ruined, and the excess
Ut glory obscured — as when the sun new-risen
Looks through the horizontal misty air l

Shorn of his beams, or, from behind the moon,

In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and-ajjh fear of change,
Perplexes monarchs. Darkened so, yet shone
Above them all the Archangel; but his face 600
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenga_Cruel his eye, but cast
iSigns oFremorse and passion, to behold 605

The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
(Far other once beheld in bliss), condemned

. For ever now to have their lot in pain —
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced
Of Heaven, and from eternal splendors flung 610
For his revolt — yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory withered; as when heaven's fire
Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain pines,
With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath.

[merged small][graphic]
« הקודםהמשך »