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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
515 snowy] v. Hom. Il. i. 420. xviii. 615. Οὐλύμπου νιφόεντος. Newton,
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
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
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.'
Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd
To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage
Deliberate valor breath'd, firm, and unmov'd
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; 555
Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain,
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought
Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now
Advanc'd in view they stand, a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield, 565
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose: he through the armed files
Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views; their order due,
Their visages and stature as of Gods;
Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength
Glories; for never, since created man,
Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these
551 soft recorders] See Giles Fletcher, Eclg. 1. And while the sad Recorder sweetly plains.' 567 armed files] read 'ranked.' See book vi. 840. • Then down their idle weapons drop.' How then could they have them here?—Bentl. MS.
Could merit more than that small infantry
Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's son,
Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
And all who since, baptis'd or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,
When Charlemain with all his peerage
By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
Their dread commander: he, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tow'r; his form had yet not lost
Αἵματι Πυγμαίων ἡδομένη γέρανος.
and Ovid. Fast. vi. 176.
575 small infantry] See Basilides Athenæi, ix. 43. Who calls the Pigmies μικροὺς ἄνδρας: οἱ μικροὶ, φησὶν, ἄνδρες οἱ ταῖς γεράνοις διαπολεμοῦντες. See also Juliani Anticens. Epigr. iii. εç riva μikρóv. ed. Brunck, vol. iii. p. 9.
Bello me, credite, bello,
Nec, quæ Pygmæo sanguine gaudet, avem.' Consult Millin's Monum. Inedit. i. 171, and Boissonade to Philostrat. p. 529. Also Plin. Nat. Hist. vii. 'Pygmæi, quos a gruibus infestari Homerus quoque prodidit.' (Hom. Il. iii. v. 7.)
691 Stood like a tower] See Statii Theb. iii. 356.
Ceu turrim validam
See also Il Purgatorio of Dante, v. 14. 'Sta come torre ferma :'
All her original brightness, nor appear'd
Less than Arch-angel ruin'd, and th' excess
Of glory obscur❜d: as when the sun new-ris'n
Looks through the horizontal misty air,
Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs: darken'd so, yet shone
Above them all th' Arch-angel: but his face 600
Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd, and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
Far other once beheld in bliss, condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain,
'E la faccia del Sol nascere ombrata,
Sì che, per temperanza di vapori
L'occhio lo sostenea lunga fiata.'
it is also used in the Orlando Innamorato. Mr. Dyce refers to Q. Smyrnæus, lib. iii. ver. 63.
as when the sun] See Dante, Il Purg. c. xxx. ver.
Staring Comets, that look kingdoms dead.'
See his Tutor A. Gill's Poems, p. 5.
598 fear of change] See Theb. Statii, i. ver. 708. 'Mutent
quæ Sceptra Cometa.' Val. Flacc. Arg. lib. vi. ver. 608.
fatales ad regna injusta Cometa.' And Crashaw's Steps to the Temple, p. 59.
Οὐδεὶς κομήτης ὅστις ου κάκον φέρει.