Page images


Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd
Astarte, 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 th' offensive mountain, built
By that uxorious king, whose heart though large,
Beguil'd 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

448 The Syrian damsels] Compare Bionis Idyll. i. 22.

̓Ασσύριον βοόωσα πόσιν, καὶ παῖδα καλεῦσα. 449 amorous ditties] dolorous ditties. Bentl. MS. 451 Ran purple] Ov. Metam. xii. 111.

Purpureus populari cæde Caicus




See Maundrell's Travels, p. 34. We had the fortune to see what may be supposed to be the occasion of that opinion which Lucian relates concerning this river (Adonis, called by the Turks, Ibrahim Bassa,) viz. that this stream, at certain seasons of the year, especially about the feast of Adonis, is of a bloody colour, which the Heathens looked upon as proceeding from a kind of sympathy in the river, for the death of Adonis. Something like this, we saw, actually came to pass, for the water was stained to a surprising redness, and

Ezekiel saw, when by the vision led
His eyes 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: 470
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

as we observed in travelling, had discoloured the sea a great way into a reddish hue, occasioned doubtless by a sort of minium, or red earth, washed into the river by the violence of the rain, and not by any stain from Adonis' blood.'

See also Milton's answer to Eikon Bas. p. 410:

'Let them who now mourn for him as for Tammuz.' 460 grunsel edge] See Beaumont's Psyche, c. viii. st. 136. 'In Dagon's Temple down the idol fell,

Quite broke his godship on the stronger sell.'

And Quarles' Emblems, p. 302, ‘and groundsild every floor.' Lisle has also used this word in his Transl. of Du Bartas, p. 96, to lay the grunsill-plot.'

His odious off'rings, 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


Their wand'ring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms,
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape
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,
Lik'ning his Maker to the grazed ox,
Jehovah, who in one night, when he pass'd
From Ægypt marching, equal'd with one stroke
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 smok'd; yet who more oft than he
In temples and at altars, when the priest
Turns atheist, as did Ely'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



489 bleating] v.. Exod. xii. 12. Numb. xxxiii. 3, 4. and Virg. Æn. viii. 698.

Omnigenumque deum monstra, et latrator Anubis.'


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 heav'n and earth,
Their boasted parents. Titan, heav'n's first born, 510
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 rul'd 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 th' Hesperian fields
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.
All these and more came flocking; but with



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

515 snowy] v. Hom. Il. i. 420. xviii. 615.

Οὐλύμπου νιφόεντος. Newton,

Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth not substance, gently rais'd Their fainted courage, and dispell'd their fears. 530 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
Th' imperial ensign, which, full high advanc'd,
Shone like a meteor, streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich imblaz'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
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood

[ocr errors]



550 Dorian mood] See Val. Maximus, Lib. ii. c. 6. §. 2. Ejusdem (Spartanæ) civitatis exercitus non ante ad dimicandum descendere solebant, quam tibiæ concentu, et anapæsti pedis modulo cohortationis calorem animo traxissent, vegeto et crebro ictus sono.' And Cic. Tusc. Quæst. ii. 16. Spartiatarum, quorum procedit mora ad tibiam, nec adhibetur ulla sine Anapæstis pedibus hortatio.'

« PreviousContinue »