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And heav'n, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
But wisest Fate says, no,
This must not yet be So,
The babe lies yet in smiling infancy, That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss;
So both himself and us to glorify; Yet first to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through
With such a horrid clang
As on mount Sinai rang,
While the red fire, and smouldering clouds out
The aged earth aghast,
With terror of that blast,
Shall from the surface to the centre shake:
When at the world's last session,
The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his
And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
But now begins; for from this happy day
The old Dragon under ground
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway, And wroth to see his kingdom fail, Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
The oracles are dumb,
No voice or hideous hum
Runs thro' the arched roof in words deceiving. Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. No nightly trance, or breathed spell
Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic cell.
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard and loud lament; From haunted spring, and dale
Edg'd with poplar pale,
The parting genius is with sighing sent;
With flow'r-inwoven tresses torn
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets
172 Swinges] See Cowley's Davideis, p. 313.
'Pectora tum longe percellit verbere caudæ.'
183 weeping] Matthew, ii. 18. In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping.' Warton.
185 poplar pale] Hall's Satires, ed. Sing. p. 93. poplar; and 169, and palish twigs of deadly poplar tree.' Virg. Ecl. ix. 39. Candida populus.'
In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,
The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight
In urns, and altars round,
A drear and dying sound
Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar Pow'r foregoes his wonted seat.
Peor and Baälim
Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-batter'd God of Palestine ;
And mooned Ashtaroth,
Heav'n's queen and mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine;
The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn,
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz
And sullen Moloch fled,
Hath left in shadows dread
His burning idol all of blackest hue;
In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,
191 Lars] Lemures, et Larvas, et Empusas.' Miltoni Prolus. p. 80.
197 Peor] See B. Martini Var. Lectiones, p. 131, 132.
200 mooned] Milton added this word to our language. Todd.
In dismal dance about the furnace blue:
The brutish Gods of Nile as fast,
Isis and Orus, and the dog Anubis haste.
Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove or green,
Trampling the unshow'r'd grass with lowings
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest;
Nought but profoundest hell can be his shroud;
In vain with timbrell'd anthems dark
The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark.
He feels from Juda's land
The dreaded Infant's hand,
The of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn; Nor all the Gods beside,
Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine :
Our babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the damned
So when the sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,
215 Trampling] Benlowes's Theophila, p. 237.
'Of wide hornd oxen trampling grass with lowings loud.'
Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to th' infernal jail,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave; And the yellow-skirted Fayes
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-lov'd
But see the Virgin blest
Hath laid her Babe to rest,
Time is our tedious song should here have ending; Heav'n's youngest teemed star
Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending; And all about the courtly stable
Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.
231 chin] T. Warton has not remarked the use of this word in old poetry; when it brought with it no associations of familiarity or burlesque. Chapman's Hom. Il. p. 113, ‘Both goddesses let fall their chins.' Odyss. p. 303. 310, Jove shook his sable chin.' The Ballad of Gil Morrice, 158, And kiss'd baith mouth and chin,' 169, ‘And syne she kiss'd his bluidy cheeke, and syne his bluidy chin.' And Percy's Reliques, iii. 57, Our Lady bore up her chinne.'
232 shadows] M. Bowle refers to Mids. Night's Dream, act iii. sc. ult.
And yonder shines,' &c.
244 harness'd] Exodus, xiii. 18. harnessed out of the land of Egypt.'
The children of Israel went up