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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; 40
T' 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;
He grew at last more weary to command 45
New dangers, than young David to withstand
Or conquer them; he fear'd his mastering fate,
And envy'd him a king's unpowerful hate.
Well did he know how palms by’ oppression speed,
Victorious, and the victor's sacred meed . 50
The burthen lifts them higher. Well did he know
How a tame stream does wild and dangerous grow
By unjust force; he now with wanton play
Kisses the smiling banks, and glides away;
But, his known channel stopp'd, begins to roar, 55
And swell with rage, and buffet the dull shore;
His mutinous waters hurry to the war,
And troops of waves come rolling from afar:
Then scorns he such weak stops to his free source,
And overruns the neighbouring fields with violent
Course, 60
This knew the tyrant, and this useful thought
His wounded mind to health and temper brought.
He old kind vows to David did renew,
Swore constancy, and meant his oath for true.
WOL, II, s

A general joy at this glad news appear'd, 65
For David all men lov'd, and Saul they fear'd.
Angels and men did peace and David love,
But Hell did neither him nor that approve;
From man's agreement fierce alarms they take,
And quiet here, does there new business make. 70
Beneath the silent chambers of the earth,
Where the sun's fruitful beams give metals birth—
Where he the growth of fatal gold does see,
Gold, which above more influence has than he:—
Beneath the dens where unfletcht tempests lie, 75
And infant winds their tender voices try;
Beneath the mighty ocean's wealthy caves;
Beneath th' eternal fountain of all waves,
Where their vast court the mother-waters keep,
And, undisturb’d by moons, in silence sleep; SG
There is a place, deep, wondrous deep, below,
Which genuine Night and Horror does o'erflow;
No bound controls th' unwearied space, but hell,
Endless as those dire pains that in it dwell.
Here no dear glimpse of the sun's lovely face 85
Strikes through the solid darkness of the place;
No dawning morn does her kind reds display;
One slightweak beam would here be thought the day:
No gentle stars with their fair gems of light
Offend the tyrannous and unquestion'd night. 90.
Here Lucifer, the mighty captive, reigns;
Proud 'midst his woes, and tyrant in his chains;
Once general of a gilded host of sprites,
Like Hesper, leading forth the spangled nights;

But down like lightning, which him struck, he came;
And roar'd at his first plunge into the flame:
Myriads of spirits fell wounded round him there;
With dropping lights thick shone the singed air;
Since when, the dismal solace of their woe
Has only been weak mankind to undo; 100
Themselves at first against themselves they’ excite,
(Their dearest conquest and most proud delight)
And, if those mines of secret treason fail,
With open force man's virtue they assail;
Unable to corrupt, seek to destroy, 105
And, where their poisons miss, the sword employ.
Thus sought the tyrant-fiend young David's fall,
And 'gainst him arm'd the powerful rage of Saul:
He saw the beauties of his shape and face,
His female sweetness, and his manly grace: 11()
He saw the nobler wonders of his mind,
Great gifts! which for great works he knew design'd:
He saw (t’ ashame the strength of man and hell)
How by 's young hands their Gathite champion fell:
He saw the reverend prophet boldly shed 115
The royal drops round his enlarged head;
And well he knew what legacy did place
The sacred sceptre in blest Judah's race,
From which th' eternal Shilo was to spring;
A knowledge which new hells to hell did bring ! 120
And, though no less he knew himself too weak
The smallest link of strong-wrought Fate to break,
Yet would he rage and struggle with the chain;
Low'd to rebel, though sure that’t was in vain.

And, now it broke his form'd design, to find 125
The gentle change of Saul's recovering mind;
He trusted much in Saul, and ragd and griev'd
(The great Deceiver!) to be himself deceiv'd.
Thrice did he knock his iron teeth, thrice howl,
And into frowns his wrathful forehead roll; 130
His eyes dart forth red flames, which scare the
And with worse fires the trembling ghosts affright;
A troop of ghastly fiends compass him round,
And greedily catch at his lips' fear'd sound.

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“Crost by a shepherd's boy! and you yet still
“Play with your idle serpents here dares none
“Attempt what becomes Furies are ye grown
“Benumb'd with fear, or Virtue's spiritless cold,
“You, who were once (I'm sure) so brave and bold :
“Oh ! my ill-chang'd condition 1 oh, my fate |
“Did I lose heaven for this f”
With that, with his long tail he lash'd his breast,
And horribly spoke out in looks the rest.
The quaking powers of night stood in amaze, 145
And at each other first could only gaze;
A dreadful silence fill'd the hollow place,
Doubling the native terror of hell's face;
Rivers of flaming brimstone, which before
So loudly ragd, crept softly by the shore; 150
No hiss of snakes, no clank of chains, was known,
The souls, amidst their tortures, durst not groan.

Envy at last crawls forth from that dire throng, Of all the direfull'st; her black locks hung long, Attir'd with curling serpents; her pale skin 155 Was almost dropp'd from the sharp bones within; And at her breast stuck vipers, which did prey Upon her panting heart both night and day, Sucking black blood from thence, which to repair Both night and day they left fresh poisons there. 160 Her garments were deep-stain’d in human gore, And torn by her own hands, in which she bore A knotted whip, and bowl, that to the brim Did with green gall and juice of wormwood swim ; With which, when she was drunk, she furious grew, And lash'd herself: thus from th’ accursed crew Envy, the worst of fiends, herself presents, Envy, good only when she 'herself torments.

“Spend not, great king ! thy precious rage,” said


“Upon so poor a cause; shall mighty we 170
“The glory of our wrath to him afford -
“Are we not Furies still, and you our lord
“At thy dread anger the fix’d world shall shake,
“And frighted Nature her own laws forsake:
“Do thou but threat, loud storms shall make reply,
“And thunder echo’t to the trembling sky; 176
“Whilst raging seas swell to so bold an height,
“As shall the fire's proud element affright:
“Th' old drudging sun from his long-beaten way
“Shall at thy voice start, and misguide the day; lso

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