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By their rebellion, from the book of life.
Nor had they yet, among the sons of Eve, (earth,
Got them new names : till, wandering o'er the
Through God's high sufferance, for the trial of
By falsities and lies, the greatest part [man,
Of mankind they corrupted, to forsake
God their Creator, and the invisible
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,
And various idols, through the Heathen world.
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who
Roused from the slumber, on that fiery couch, [last,
At their great Emperor's call, as next in worth,
Came singly, where he stood on the bare strand,
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 adored
Among the nations round ;) and durst abide
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
Between the Cherubim: yea, often placed
Within his sanctuary itself, their shrines,
Abominations; and, with cursed things,
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned ;
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,
Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite [fire
Worshipp'd in Rabba and her watery plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
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
And black Gehenna call’d, the type of Hell.
Next Chemos, the obscene, dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild
Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond

The flowery dale of Sibma, clad with vines,
And Eleäle to the Asphaltic pool :
Peor his other name, when he enticed
Israel, in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged,
Even 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 bordering
Of old Euphrates, to the brook that parts [flood
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 :
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they
Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure, [choose,
Can execute their airy 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
Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phænicians call'd
Astarté, queen of Heaven, with crescent horns :
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 the offensive mountain, built
By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large,
Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound, in Lebanon, allured
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate,
In amorous ditties, all a summer's day;
While smooth Adonis from his native rock,
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded : the love-tale
Infected Sion's daughters, with like heat;
Whose wanton passions, in the sacred porch,
Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,
His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

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