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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 ador'd
Among the nations round; and durst abide
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, thron’d
Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His Holy rites and solemn feasts prophan'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
Their childrens cries unheard, that pass'd through fire
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipt 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 approbrious 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,


404 *•$36: From Aroar 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 Eleälé, to the Asphaltic pool. Peor his other name, when he entic'd Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd 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 flood Of Old Euphrates, to the brook that parts Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names Of Baälim and Ashtaroth; those male, These feminine. Før Spirits when they please Can either sex assume, or both; so soft And uncompounded is their essence pure; Not tied nor manacled with joint or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they chuse Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure, 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

400 467 .

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,
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
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
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 off
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,
Where he fell Aat, and sham'd his worshipers;
Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man

whe-ngo. 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, 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 conquerour, whom he drew God's altar to disparage, and displace, Por 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'ą Fanatic Egypt, and her priests, to seek Their wandering Gods, disguis'd in brutish formas Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape The 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 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
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 sans
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, though far renown'd
The Ionian Gods, of Javan's issue held
Gods, yet confess'd later than Heaven and Earth,
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
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
Of cold Olympus ruld the middle air,
Their highest Heaven; or on the Delphian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds

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