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Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off
In his own temple, on the grunsel1 edge,

Where he fell flat, and shamed his worshippers:
Dagon his name;2 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,
And Accaron, and Gaza's frontier bounds.
Him follow'd Rimmon,3 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 gain'd a king,
Ahaz his sottish conqueror, whom he drew
GOD's altar to disparage, and displace
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
His odious off'rings, and adore the gods
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 abused
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek

Their wand'ring Gods disguised in brutish forms,7
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape

Th' infection, when their borrow'd gold composed
The calf in Oreb;8 and the rebel king

Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
Lik’ning his Maker to the grazèd ox,9
Jehovah, who in one night, when he pass'd
From Ægypt marching, equall'd with one stroke
Both her first-born and all her bleating gods,
Belial 10 came last, than whom a spirit more lewd
Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love
Vice for itself: to him no temple stood

I Threshold, groundsel.

2 1 Sam. v. 4.

3 A Syrian god.

4 Naaman. See 2 Kings v. 17.

5 2 Kings xvi. 10. 2 Chron. xxviii. 23.

6 Orus was the son of Osiris (the sun) « and Isis (the moon).

7 The sacred calf, the ram, &c.

8 Exod. xxxii.

9 1 Kings xii. 28.

10 The god of lewdness and luxury.

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
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,
Th' Ionian gods, of Javan's issue,' held
Gods, yet confess'd later than heav'n and earth,
Their boasted parents. Titan, heav'n's first-born,2
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 reign'd: these first in Crete
And Ida known :3 thence on the snowy top
Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air,
Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff1
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old

Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian fields,"

And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.8

All these and more came flocking; but with looks

1 Java, the fourth son of Japhet, was supposed to have settled Ionia, in the south-west part of Asia Minor. The gods of the Greek mythology are here meant.

2 Titan, supposed to be the son of Heaven and Earth, was the father of the giants. Saturn, his younger brother, seized his empire, and was, in his turn, deposed by his son Jupiter.

3 Jupiter was said to have been born on Mount Ida, in the island of Crete (now Candia). He and the other Greek

gods then passed to Greece, and Jupiter reigned on Mount Olympus, in Thessaly.

4 Mount Parnassus, where the city of Delphi, famous for its Oracle, was situated.

5 A city and wood sacred to Jupiter, famous also for its Oracle.

6"Doric land," Greece.
7 Italy.

8 France, the abode of the Celts. "Utmost isles," Great Britain, &c., &c.: Ultima Thule.

Down-cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd
Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their chief
Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
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 fainted courage, and dispell'd their fears.
Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound
Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd
His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd
Azazel1 as his right, a cherub tall;

Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd
Th' imperial ensign, which, full high advanced,
Shone 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:
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 seen
Ten thousand banners rise into the air
With orient colours waving: with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood 2
Of flutes and soft recorders ;3 such as raised
To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage
Deliberate valour breath'd, firm, and unmoved
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat;
Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage

1 This name is used for some demon or devil by several ancient authors, Jewish and Christian.-NEWTON.

2 A solemn style of music, exciting to cool and deliberate courage.-NEWTON. The ancients had three different

styles of music: the Lydian, soft and languishing; the Phrygian, gay and animated; the Dorian, solemn and majestic.

3 A species of flute or flageolet.

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 fixèd thought,
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,
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose: he through the armèd files
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views; their order due,
Their visages and stature as of Gods;

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Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength
Glories; for never, since created man,

Met such embodied force, as named with these
Could merit more than that small infantry'
Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd
That fought at Thebes3 and Ilium,* on each side
Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's son,5
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,
When Charlemain with all his peerage
By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed

1 The Pigmies. See "Basilides Athenai,” IX. 43.

2 Phlegra, a city of Macedonia, where the Titans, or giants, dwelt who made war against the gods.

3 Thebes, a city of Boeotia, famous for the war between the sons of Edipus, Eteocles and Polynices. The subject of Statius's "Thebaid."

4 Troy, the siege of which is the subject of Homer's "Iliad." The gods took different sides in this war.

5 Arthur. Armoric knights were knights of Armorica, or Brittany.

6 Romantic names of places mentioned in Ariosto's poem, "Orlando Furioso," and in the old romances.

Their dread commander: he, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tow'r; his form had yet not lost
All her original brightness, nor appear'd
Less than Arch angel ruin'd, and th' excess
Of glory obscured: as when the sun new-risen
Looks through the horizontal misty air,

Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs:1 darken'd so, yet shone
Above them all th' Arch-angel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd, and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
Far other once beheld in bliss, condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain,
Millions of spirits for his fault amerced2
Of heav'n, and from eternal splendours flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd: as when heaven's fire
Hath scath'd the forest oaks or mountain pines,
With singèd top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half inclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth; at last
Words interwove with sighs found out their way.
O myriads of immortal spirits, O Powers
Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife
Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,

1 Alluding to the superstition that an eclipse or comet foretold the disturbance of nations.

2 Deprived of by forfeiture. Quarles's "Divine Poems," p. 18.


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