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Pid both the poles suppress their stormy noise,
And bid the roaring sea contain its voice.
Te still, thou sea; be still, thou air and earth,
Still as old Chaos, before Motion's birth:
A dreadful host of judgments is gone out,
To scourge the rebel world, and march it round
I see the sword of God brandish'd above, And from it streams a dismal ray: I see the scabbard cast away; How red anon with slaughter will it prove How will it sweat and reek in blood I How will the scarlet-glutton be o'ergorged with his And devour all the mighty feast [food, Nothing soon but bones will rest. God does a solemn sacrifice prepare; But not of oxen, nor of rams, Not of kids, nor of their dams, Not of heifers, nor of lambs: The altar all the land, and all men in 't the vic- tims are. Since, wicked men's more guilty blood to spare, The beasts so long have sacrificed been ; Since men their birth-right forfeitstill by sin; 'Tis fit at last beasts their revenge should have, And sacrificed men their better brethren save.
So will they fall, so will they flee, Such will the creatures’ wild distraction be, t When, at the final doom, TNature and Time shall both be slain, Shall struggle with Death's pangs in vain, And the whole world their funerai pole become. The wide stretch'd scroll of Heaven, which Immortal as the Deity think, [we With all the beauteous characters that in it With such deep sense by God's own hand werewrit (Whose eloquence, though we understand not, we admire) Shall crackle, and the parts together shrink Like parchment in a fire: [lend; Th’ exhausted Sun to th’ Moon no more shali Tout truly then headlong into the sea descend: The glittering host, now in such fair array, So proud, so well-appointed, and so gay, like fearful troops in some strong ambush ta'en, Shall some fly routed, and some fall slain, Thick as o fruit, or yellow leaves, in autumn all, With such i. violent storm as blows down tree and all.
So careful and so strict he is, Lest any nook or corner he should miss:
He walks about the perishing nation, Ruin behind him stalks and empty Desolation.
Then shall the market and the pleading-place
THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT.
Is this thy bravery, man, is this thy pride?
In vain we judgments feel, and wonders see!
Think what plagues attend on thee, Who Moses' God does now refuse, more oft than Moses he,
“If from some god you come,” (said the proud With half a smile and half a frown; king But what god can to Egypt be unknown?) “What sign, what powers, what credence do you bring ** ** Behold his seal behold his hand!” Cries Moses, and casts down th’ all-mighty wand. Th’ all-mighty wand scarce touch'd the earth, When, with an undiscerned birth, Th’ all-mighty wand a serpent grew, And his long half in painted folds behind him drew: Upwards his threatening tail he threw; Upwards he cast his threatening head: He gap'd and hiss'd aloud, With flaming eyes survey'd the trembling crowd, And, like a basilisk, almost look'd th' assembly dead; Swift fled th’ amazed king, the guards before him fled.
Jannes and Jambres stopp'd their flight, And with proud words allay'd th’ affright. “The God of slaves,” said they, “how can he be More powerful than their master's deity ?” And down they cast their rods, And mutter'd secret sounds that charm the servile gods. The evil spirits their charms obey, And in a subtle cloud they snatch the rods away, And serpents in their place the airy jugglers lay. Serpents in Egypt's monstrous land Were ready still at hand, And all at the Old Serpent's first command. And they too gap'd, and they too hiss'd, And they their threatening tails did twist; But straight on both the Hebrew-serpent flew, Broke both their active backs, and both it slew, And both almost at once devour’d; So much was over-power'd, By God's miraculous creation, His servant’s, Nature's, slightly-wrought and feeble generation!
On the fam'd bank the prophets stood, Touch'd with their rod, and wounded, all the flood: Flood now no more, but a long vein of putrid The helpless fish were found [blood. In their strange current drown'd: The herbs and trees wash’d by the mortal tide About it blush'd and dy’d: Th'amazed crocodiles made haste to ground; From their vast trunks the dropping gore they spied, Thought so, own, and dreadfully aloud they cried. Nor all thy priests, north no, Oking! could'st ever show From whence thy wandering Nile begins his catarseOf this new Nile thou seest the sacred source; And, as thy land that does o'erflow, Take heed lest this do so! What plague more just could on thy waters fall? The Hebrew infants' murderstains them all:
The kind instructing punishment enjoy; Whom the red river cannot mend, the Red-sca shall destroy.
The river yet gave one instruction more;
The water thus her wonders did produce;
Lo! the third element does his plagues prepart,
From poisonous stars a mortal influence came (The mingled malice of their flame);
A skilful angel did th’ ingredients take,
And with just hands the sad composure make,
And over all the land did the full vial shake.
Thus did the beasts for man's rebellion die;
play, And opens wide the tempest's noisy way. And straight a stony shower Of monstrous hail does downwards pour, Such as me'er Winter yet brought forth, From all her stormy magazines of the north. It all the beasts and men abroad did slay, O'er the defaced corpse, like monuments, lay; The houses and strong-bodied trees it broke, Nor ask'd aid from the thunder's stroke; The thunder but for terrour through it flew, The hail alone the work could do. The dismal lightnings all around, Some flying through the air, some running on the ground, Some swimming o'er the water's face,
Fill'd with bright horrour every place;
One would have thought, their dreadful dayto have seen,
The very hail, and rain itself, had kindled been.
The infant corn, which yet did scarce appear,
What blindness or what darkness did there e'er
Through which the rolling thunder first does And ghosts complain'd, and spirits murmured;
And Fancy's multiplying sight View'd all the scenes invisible of Night.
And with his winged will cuts through the yield-
He spoke, and downwards flew, And o'er his shining form a well-cut cloud he Made of the blackest fleece of Night, [throw, And close-wrought to keep in the powerful light, Yet wrought so fine it hinder'd not his flight; But through the key-holes and the chinks of doors, And through the narrow'st walks of crooked pores, He past more swift and free, Than in wide air the wanton swallows flee. He took a pointed pestilence in his hand; The spirits of thousand mortal poisons made The strongly-temper'd blade, The sharpest sword that e'er was laid [land. Up in the magazines of God to scourge a wicked Through Egypt's wicked land his march he took, And as he march'd the sacred first-born strook Of every womb : none did he spare, None, from the meanest beast to Cenchre's purple heir.
The swift approach of endless night Breaks ope the wounded sleepers' rolling eyes; They awake the rest with dying cries, And darkness doubles the affright; The mixed sounds of scatter'd deaths they hear, And lose their parted souls 'twixt grief and fear. Louder than all the shrieking women's voice Pierces this chaos of confused moise; As brighter lightning cuts a way Clear and distinguish'd through the day: With less complaints the Zoan temples sound, When the adored heifer's drown'd, And no true-mark'd successor to be found. Whilst health and strength, and gladness, does The festal Hebrew cottages; [possess The blest destroyer comes not there, To interrupt the sacred cheer That new begins their well-reformed year: Upon their doors he read and understood, God's protection, writ in blood; Well was he skill'd i' th' character Divine; And, though he pass'd by it in haste, He bow’d and worship'd, as he past, The mighty mystery through its humble sign.
The sword strikes now too deep and near,
Is but like fire struck out of stone; So hardly got, and quickly gone, That it scarce out-lives the blow. Sorrow and fear soon quit the tyrant's breast; Rage and revenge their place possess'd; With a vast host of chariots and of horse, And all his powerful kingdom's ready force, The travelling nation he pursues; [news. Ten times o'ercome, he still th’ unequal war reFill'd with proud hopes, “At least,” said he, “Th’ Egyptian gods, from Syrian magic free, Will now revenge themselves and me; Behold what passless rocks on either hand, Like prison-walls, about them stand, Whilst the sea bounds their flight before ? And in our injur'd justice they must find A far worse stop than rocks and seas behind; Which shall with crimson gore New paint the water's name, and double dye the shore.”
He spoke; and all his host Approv'd with shouts th’ unhappy boast; A bidden wind bore his vain words away, And drown'd them in the neighbouring sea. No means to escape the faithless travellers spy, And, with degenerous fear to die, Curse their new-gotten liberty. But the great Guide well knew he led them right, And saw a path hid yet from human sight: He strikes the raging waves, the waves on either side Unloose their close embraces, and divide; And backwards press, as in some solemn shew The crowding people do (Though just before no space was seen) To let th’ admired triumph pass between. The wondering army saw on either hand The no-less-wondering waves like rocks of crystaf stand: They march'd betwixt, and boldly trod The secret paths of God. And here and there all scatter'd in their way The sea's old spoils, and gaping fishes, lay Deserted on the sandy plain: The Sun did with astonishment behold The inmost chambers of the open'd main; For, whatsoe'er of old By his own priests, the poets, has been said, He never sunk till them into the Ocean's bed. Led cheerfully by a bright captain, Flame, To th' other shore at morning-dawn they came, And saw behind th’ unguided foe March disorderly and slow, The prophet straight from th’ Idumean strand . Shakes his imperious wand: The upper waves, that highest crowded lie, The beckoning wand espy; Straight their first right-hand files begin to move, And, with a murmuring wind, Give the word “March” to all behind. The left-hand squadrons no less ready prove, But, with a joyful, louder noise, Answer their distant fellows' voice, And haste to meet them make, Asseveral troops do all at once a common signal take. What tongueth amazement and th'affright can tell Which on the Chamian army fell,
*The proposition. The invocation. The entrance into the history from a new agreement betwixt Saul and David. A description of Hell. The Devil's speech. Envy's reply to him. Her appearing to Saul in the shape of Benjamin. Her speech, and Saul's to himself after she was vanished. A description of Heaven. God’s speech: he sends an Angel to David: the Angel's message to him. David sent for, to play before Saul. A digression concerning *music. David's psalm. Saul attempts to kill him: . His escape to his own house, from whence being pursued by the king's guard, by the artifice of his wife Michal he escapes and flies to Naioth, the prophets' college at Ramah. Saul's speech, and rage at his escape. A long digression describing the prophets' college, and their manner of life there, and the ordinary subjects of their poetry. Saul's guards pursue David thither, and prophesy. Saul among the prophets. He is compared to Balaam, whose song concludes the book.
Isiso the man who Judah's sceptre bore
All home-bred malice, and all foreign boasts; Their strength was armies, his the Lord of Hosts. Thou, who didst David's royal stem adorn, Andgav'sthimbirth from whom thyself wastborn; Who didst in triumph at Death's court appear, And slew'st him with thy nails, thy cross, and
spear, Whilst Hoist tyrant trembled to behold The glorious light he forfeited of old: Who, Heaven's gladburthenmow,and justest pride, Sitt'st high enthron’d next thy great Father's side (Where hallow'd flames help to adorm that head Which once the blushing thorns environed, Till crimson drops of precious blood hung down Like rubies to enrich thine humble crown) Ev’n thou my breast with such blest rage inspire, As mov'd the tuneful strings of David's lyre! Guide my bold steps with thine own travelling flame, In these untrodden paths to sacred fame! Lo, with pure hands thy heavenly fire to take, My well-chang'd Muse I a chaste vestal make! From Earth's vain joys, and Love's soft witchcraft, free, I consecrate my Magdalene to thee! Lo, this great work, a temple to thy praise, On polish'd pillars of strong verse I raise A temple, where, if thou vouchsafe to dwell, It Solomon's and Herod's shall excel. Too long the Muses’ land hath heathen been; Their gods too long were devils, and virtues sin; But thou, Eternal Word! hast call'd forth me, Th’apostle to convert that world to thee; To unbind the charms that in slight fables lie, And teach, that truth is truest poesy. The malice now of jealous Saul grew less, O'ercome by constant virtue and success: