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Between the cherubim; yea, often plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profan❜d,
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears,

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Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud
Their children's cries unheard, that past through fire
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worship'd in Rabba and her wat❜ry plain,
In Argob, and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His temple right against the temple of God,
On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove
'The pleasant valley of Hinnon, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call'd, the type of hell.
Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild

Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines,
And Eleälé, to th' Asphaltic pool:

Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd
Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove

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Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate;

Till good Josiah drove them thence to hell.

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With these came they, who, from the bordering flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts
Ægypt from Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
These feminine: for spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure;
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose,
Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,
Can execute their aery purposes,

And works of love or enmity fulfil.
For those the race of Israel oft forsook
Their living Strength, and unfrequented left
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
To bestial gods; for which their heads as low
Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
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,

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419 bordering] v. Gen. xv. 18. Old Euphrates: v. Gen. ii. 14. Newton.

Beguil❜d by fair idolatresses, fell

To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
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
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

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
Fluxit-

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

445

'Let them who now mourn for him as for Tammuz.'

450

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 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.'

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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:
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
His odious offerings, 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

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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.'

The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
Likening 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
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 Eli'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
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 heaven and earth,

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Newton.

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

'Omnigenumque deum monstra, et latrator Anubis.'

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