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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

365 Got them new names; till wand'ring o'er the earth,
Through God's high suff'rance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies, the greatest part

Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and th' invisible
370 Glory of Him that made them to transform
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, 375 And various idols through the heathen world.

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,
380 While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof.

The chief were those, who, from the pit of hell
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God;
Their altars by his altar;-gods ador'd
385 Among the nations round;-and durst abide
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron'd
Between the Cherubim : yea, often plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines-
Abominations! and with cursed things
390 His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,
And with their darkness durst affront his light.

First, MOLOCH, horrid king! besmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears;

Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, 395 Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through fire To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite

Worshipp'd in Rabba and her wat'ry plain,

In Argob, and in Basan, to the stream

Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such 400 Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 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 405 And black Gehenna call'd,-the type of hell.

Next, CHEMOs, the obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroër to Nebo, and the wild

Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaïm, Seön's realm, beyond
410 The flow'ry dale of Sibma clad with vines;
And Eleäle to th' asphaltic pool.

Peör his other name, when he entic'd

Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
415 Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd
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 flood

420 Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts
Egypt from Syrian ground, had gen'ral names
Of Baälim and Ashtaroth; those male,
These feminine: For spirits, when they please,
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
425 And uncompounded is their essence pure;
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose,
Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,

430 Can execute their aery 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.

435 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 Phoenicians call'd
Astarte, queen of heav'n, with crescent horns;
440 To whose bright image nightly by the moon
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, 445 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 fate
In am'rous ditties, all a summer's day;
450 While smooth Adonis from his native rock
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 sacred porch
455 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 lopp'd off 460 In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,

Where he fell flat, 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 coast
465 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, lucid streams:
470 He also 'gainst the house of God was bold:

A leper once he lost, and gained a king,—
Ahaz, his sottish conqueror,-whom he drew
God's altar to disparage, and displace

For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn 475 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, abus'd 480 Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek

Their wand'ring gods disguis'd in brutish forms Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape The infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king 485 Doubled that sin in Bethel, and in Dan, Lik'ning 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 whom a spirit more lewd
Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love
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
495 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 tow'rs,
500 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
505 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, 510 Their boasted parents: Titan, heaven's first-born, With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd 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 515 And Ida known; thence on the snowy top

Of cold Olympus rul'd 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,
520 Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.

All these and more came flocking, but with looks
Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd
Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their chief
525 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
530 Their fainting 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
Azazel as his right, a cherub tall;

535 Who forthwith from the glitt'ring staff unfurl'd
Th' imperial ensign; which, full high advanc'd,
Shone like a meteor, streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz'd,—
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
540 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 545 Ten thousand banners rise into the air,


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