תמונות בעמוד

Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Bencath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands. 355
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,
And pow'rs that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; 36
Though of their names in heav'nly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd
By their rebellion from the books of Life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve 364
Got them new names, till wand'ring o'er the carth,
Through God's high suff'rance for the trial of

By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and th' invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform 370
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
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, Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery couch, At their great Emp'ror's call, as next in worth Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof. 380 The chief. were those who from the pit of Hell

[ocr errors]

Roaming to seek their prey on carth, durst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God,
Their altars by his altar, gods ador’d
Among the nations round, and durst abide 385
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron’d
Between the cherubim ; yea, often placid
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations ; and with cursed things
His only rites and solemn feasts profan'd, 390
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First Moloch, horrid king, besmeard with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears,
Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud
Their children's cries unheard, that pass’d through

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipe in Rabba and her wat'ry plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighborhood, the wisest heart 400
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 call’d, the type of Hell. 405
Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroar to Nebo and the wild
Of southmost Abarim ; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flow'ry dale of Sibma clad with vines, 410
And Eleäle to th' Asphaltic pool.

Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he inlarg'd 415
Ev'n 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 bord'ring

Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts

420 Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names Of Baälim 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 Not ty'd or manacled with joint or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumb’rous flesh; but in what shape they chuse Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure, Can execute their æry, purposes,

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
Bow'd down in battel, sunk before the spcar
Of despicable foes.

With these in troop
Carne Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians callid
Astarte, queen of Hcav'n, with crescent horns ;
to whose brighe image nightly by the moon

[ocr errors]

Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs,
In Sion also not unsung, where stood

Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built - By that uxorious king, whose heart though large, Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell

To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
The Syrian damsels to lament his fare
In amorous ditties all a summer's day,
While smooth Adonis from his native rock 450
Ran purple to the sea, suppos’d with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded : the love-talc
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat,
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
Ezekiel saw, when by the vision led 455

eye survey'd the dark idolatrics
Of alienated Judah, Next came one
Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopi off
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,

Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers :
Dagon his name, sca-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,

And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertil banks
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
He also' against the house of God was bold: 976
A leper once he lost, and gain’d a king,
A haz his sottish conqu’ror, 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 475
Whom he had vanquish’d. After these appear'd
A crew who under names of old renown,
Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek

Their wand'ring gods disguis’d in brutish forms
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape
Th’infection, when their borrow'd gold compos’d.
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,

485 Likening his Maker to the grazed ox, Jehovah, who in one night when he pass’d From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke Both her first-born and all her bleating gods. Belial came last, than whoin a spi'rit more lewd Fell not from Heav'n, or more gross to love 491 Vice for itself: to him no temple stood Or altar smok’d; yet who more oft than he In temples and at altars, when the priest Turns Atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd' 495 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

« הקודםהמשך »