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The heads and leaders thither haste where stood Their great Commander; Godlike shapes, and forms Excelling hunan; princely Dignities ;

And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; 360
Though of their names in heavenly records now

Be no memorial; blotted out and rased
By their rebellion from the bock of life.

Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve


Got them new names; till, wandering o'er the earth,
Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
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 last,
Roused from the slumber, on that fiery couch,
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 though fire,

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worship'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,

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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 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 tied or manacled with joint or limb,

Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,

Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,

Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose,

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 loft
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down


To bestial Gods; for which their heads as low
Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians 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

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
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,
Where he fell flat, and shamed 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 conqueror, 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 abused

Fanatic Egypt, and her priests to seek


Their wandering Gods disguised in brutish forms

Rather than human. Nor did Israel scape

The infection, when their borrow'd gold composed
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 stroko

Both her first-born and all her bleating Gods.


Belial came last, than whom a Spirit more lewd 490
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
Vice for itself: to him no temple stood
Or altar smoked: 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


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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, 510
With his enormous brood, and birthright seized
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 ruled 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

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 Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost 525 In loss itself: which on his countenance cast Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised 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 535

The imperial ensign; which, full high advanced,
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed,
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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