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Worshipp'd in Rabba and her watry 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, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,



From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild

Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon

And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond

The flow'ry dale of Sibma clad with vines,
And Eleälé to th' 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


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 Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts


Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names

Of Baalim 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 ty'd 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,

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 Phoenicians call'd
Astarte, queen of Heav'n, 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 th' offensive mountain, built

By that uxorious king, whose heart though large,
Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell


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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 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
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 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

Rather than human Nor did Israel 'scape

Their wand'ring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms

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 ox,




Jehovah, who in one night when he pass'd
From Egypt marching, equal'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 ri'ot ascends above their loftiest towers,
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
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, 510
With his enormous brood, and birth-right 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 rul'd the middle air,


Their highest Heav'n; or on the Delphian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds

Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian fields,

And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.


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 525
In loss itself; which on his count'nance cast
Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
So on recollecting, with high words, that bore
Semblance of worth not substance, gently rais'd
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;

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 gems
and golden lustre rich emblaz'd,
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
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
Ten thousand banners rise into the air


With orient colours waving: with them rose

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