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Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous fiesh; but in what shape they choose
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 bestial Gods; for which their heads as low
Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phænicians call'd
Astarte, queen of Heav'n, 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 though large,
Beguild by fair idolatresses, fell
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
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, suppos’d with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded : the love-tale
Infected Sion's daugliters with like heat,
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
Ezekiel saw, when by the vision led
His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

Of alienated Judah. Next came one
Who mourn’d in earnest, when the captive ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt of
In his own ternple, on the grunsel edge,

450
Where he fell fat, and sham'd his worshippers :
Dagon his name, sea monster, upward man
And downward fish : yet had his temple high
Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coust
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 fertile banks
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucici streams.
He also' against the house of God was bold: 4.79
A leper once he lost, and gain’d a king,
Ahaz his soitish 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
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

480 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, Likening his Maker to the grazed cx,

VOL. I.

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Jehovali, who iro

when he passid
Tror: Tsep murciis al'd with one stroke
Pother firra niin all her bleating Gods.
Beliza 1.; from a Spirit more lewd 490
Tell not sati .t?, or more gross to love
Vice fr;* f; to !,:

"temple stood
Or altar ack'd; ytvo ncre oft than he
In temploy and at: tar: v'hen the priest
Turus at

3, who fill'd Wish lus" , lir

use of God? In courts and y e 7.37 reigns, And in luxe usi ** ...re the noise of riot sceni's Love t' ir loftiest towers, And injury an...152: and when night 506 Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Of Belial, 11own 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, though far renown'd, Th’ Ionian Gods, of javan's issue held Gods, yet confess’d later than Heaven and Earth, Their boasted parents: Titan Heav'n's first-born, With his enormous brood, and birth-right seiz’d 517 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, thence on the snowy top Of cold Olympus rul’d the middle air,

Their highest Heav'n ; or on the Delpliian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to th' Hesperion ficlds, 520
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isies.

All these and more came flocking; but with looks
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 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 fearsa 530
Then straight commands that at the wariike sound
Of trumpets loud and clarions be upreard
His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd
Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall;
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd
Th’ imperial ensign, which full high advanc'd
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
With

and golden lustre rich emblazd, Seraphic arms and trophies; all the waile Sonorous metal blowing martial sourus:

540 At which the universal host up sent A shout, that tore Hell's concave, a. l beyond Frighted the reign of Chaos and vld.sht. All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand banners rise into the air With orient colours waving : with them rose

geins

A forest huge of spears, and thronging helms
Appear'd, and serried sbields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood

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Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd
To height of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle, and instead of rage
Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat ;
Nor wanting pow'r 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 Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm’d Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and not Advanc'd 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 armed files Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse The whole battalion views, their order due, Their visages and statures as of Gods, 570 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 nam'd with these Could merit more than that small infantry Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood

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