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His holy rites and folemn feasts profan'd, 390
And with their darkness durft'affront his light.
First Molocb, horrid King, besmear'd with blood
Of human facrifice, and parents tears ;
Tho', for the noise of drums and timbrels loud,
Their childrens cries unheard, that past thro' fire 395
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worship'd in Rabba, and her 'wat’ry plain,
In Argob, and in Bafan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wiseft heart 400
Of Solomon he led by fraud, to build
His temple right against the temple of God,
On the opprobrious hill; and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Hinnon, Topbet thence
And black Gebenna call’d, the type of hell. 405
Next Cbemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroar to Nebo, and the Wild
Of southmoft Abarim; in Hefebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flow'ry dale of Sibma, clad with vines ; 410
And Eleale to th’ Aspbaltic pool :
Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Ifrael 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
Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Molocb homicide; luft hard by hate;
Till good Joiab drove them thence to hell.
With these came they, who from the bord’ring food

Of old Expbrates, to the brook that parts 420
Ægypt from Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baalim, and Afstaroth; those male,
These feminine: (For spirits when they please
Can either sex affume, 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 cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they chule,
Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,
Can execute their airy 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 beftial Gods ; for which their heads as low 435 Bow'd down in battel, sunk before the spear Of despicable foes. With these in troop Came Aftoreth, whom the Phænicians call'd Astarte, Queen of heaven, with crescent horns : To whose bright image nightly by the moon, 440 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, tho' large, Beguild by fair idolatresses, fell To idols foul. Tbammuz came next behind, Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd The Syrian damfels, to lament his fate In am'rous ditties all a summer's day i

445

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While smooth Adonis from his native rock 430
Ran purple to the sea, suppos’d with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat;
Whose wanton passions in the facred porch
Exekiel saw, when, by the vision led,

455
His eyes survey'd the dark idolatries
Of alienated Judab. Next came one
Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive Ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lop'd off
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, 460
Where he fell fat, and sham'd his worshippers ;
Dagon his Name; Sea-Monster! upward man
And downward filh: yet had his temple high
Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast
Of Palæstine, in Gath, and Ascalon,

465
And Accaron, and Gaza's frontier bounds.
Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertil banks
Of Abbana, and Pharpbar, lucid streams !
He also against the house of God was bold:

470
A leper once he loft, and gain'd a King,
Abaz, 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 475
Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd
A crew, who under names of old renown,
Osiris; Ifis, Orus, and their train,
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd

480

485

Fanatic Ægypt, and her priests, to soek
Their wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms,
Rather than human. Nor did Ifrael 'scape
Th’infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel King
Doubled that sin in Betbel, and in Dan,
Lik’ning his Maker to the grazed ox,
Jebovab! Who in one night when he pass’d
From Ægypt marching, equal'd with one stroke
Both her first-born and all her bleating Gods.
Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd 490
Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love
Vice for it felf: to him no temple stood,
Or altar smok'd; yet who more oft than he
În temples, and at altars, when the priest
Turns atheist, as did Ely's sons, who fillid

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 loftieft tow'rs,
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
Expos'd a matron, to avoid worse rape.

These were the prime, in order and in might; The rest were long to tell, tho' far renown'd, Th’ Ionian Gods, of Javan's issue, held Gods, yet confess'd later than heav'n and earth,

505

Their boasted parents. Titan, (heav'n's first-born,)
With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd gir
By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove,
(His own and Rbea's son,) like measure found;
So Jove ufurping reign'd: these first in Crete,
And Ida known; thence on the snowy top 515
Of cold Olympus rul’d the middle air,
Their highest heav'n; or on the Delpbian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and thro' all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian fields,

520 And o'er the Celtick roam'd the utmost illes.

All these and more came flocking, but with looks Down-cast and damp; yet fuch wherein appear'd Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their Chief Not in despair, to have found themselves not loft 525 In loss it felf; which on his count’nance cast Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. 530 Then strait commands that at the warlike found Of trumpets loud, and clarions, be uprear'd His mighty standard: that proud honor claim'd Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall ; Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd 535 Th’imperial ensign ; which, full high advanc'd, Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, With gems and golden lustre rich imblazd, Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while

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