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Bid both the poles suppress their stormy noise,
And bid the roaring sea contain its voice.
Ee 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,

In strength and number more

Than e'er was rais'd by God before,

To scourge the rebel world, and march it round about.

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!
How will the scarlet-glutton be o'ergorged with his
And devour all the mighty feast!
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:

[food,

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 forfeit still 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,
When, at the final doom,

Nature and Time shall both be slain,
Shall struggle with Death's pangs in vain,
And the whole world their funera! pile 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 were writ (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 shall
But 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 ripe fruit, or yellow leaves, in autumn
fall,

With such a violent storm as blows down tree and all.

And thou, O cursed land!

Which wilt not see the precipice where thou dost

stand

(Though thou stand'st just upon the brink)
Thou of this poison'd bowl the bitter dregs shalt
Thy rivers and thy lakes shall so [drink.
With human blood o'erflow, [away,
That they shall fetch the slaughter'd corpse
Which in the fields around unburied lay,
And rob the beasts and birds to give the fish their
The rotten corpse shall so infect the air, [prey:
Beget such plagues and putrid venoms there,

That by thine own dead shall be slain
All thy few living that remain.

As one who buys, surveys, a ground,
So the destroying-angel measures it around;

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To call us home,

Home to the 'promis'd Canaan above, [honey flow;
Which does with nourishing milk and pleasant
And even i' th' way to which we should be fed
With angels' tasteful bread:
But we, alas! the flesh-pots love,
We love the very leeks and sordid roots below.
In vain we judgments feel, and wonders see!
In vain did God to descend hither deign;
He was his own ambassador in vain,
Our Moses and our guide himself to be!
We will not let ourselves to go,
And with worse harden'd hearts do our own Pha-
raohs grow.

Ah! lest at last we perish so, [prince Think, stubborn man, think of th' Egyptian (Hard of belief and will, but not so hard as thou); Think with what dreadful proofs God did convince The feeble arguments that human power could show;

Think what plagues attend on thee,

The kind instructing punishment enjoy;

Who Moses' God does now refuse, more oft than Whom the red river cannot mend, the Red-sca

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?)

shall destroy.

The river yet gave one instruction more;
And, from the rotten fish and unconcocted gore,
(Which was but water just before)

A loathsome host was quickly made,

"What sign, what powers, what credence do you That scal'd the banks, and with loud noise did 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 ser-
vile 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 it their own, and dreadfully aloud they cried.

Nor all thy priests, north no,

O king! could'st ever show

all the country invade.

As Nilus when he quits his sacred bed
(But like a friend he visits all the land

With welcome presents in his hand)
So did this living tide the fields o'erspread:
In vain th' alarmed country tries
To kill their noisome enemies; [arise.
From th' unexhausted source still new recruits
Nor does the earth these greedy troops suffice,
The towns and houses they possess,
The temples and the palaces,

Nor Pharaoh, nor his gods, they fear;
Both their importune croakings hear.
Unsatiate yet, they mount up higher,
Where never sun-born frog durst to aspire,
And in the silken beds their slimy members place;
A luxury unknown before to all the watery race!
The water thus her wonders did produce;

But both were to no use;
[cuse.
As yet the sorcerers' mimic power serv'd for ex-
"Try what the earth will do," said God, and lo!
They strook the earth a fertile blow,

And all the dust did straight to stir begin;
One would have thought some sudden wind't had
But lo! 'twas nimble life was got within! [been;
And all the little springs did move,

[find

And every dust did an arm'd vermin prove,
Of an unknown and new-created kind,
Such as the magic-gods could neither make nor
The wretched shameful foe allow'd no rest

Either to man or beast.

Not Pharaoh from th' unquiet plague could be,
With all his change of raiments, free;
The devils themselves confess'd

This was God's hand; and 'twas but just, To punish thus man's pride, to punish dust with dust.

Lo! the third element does his plagues prepare
And swarming clouds of insects fill the air;
With sullen noise they take their flight,
And march in bodies infinite;
In vain'tis day above, 'tis still beneath them night.
Of harmful flies the nations numberless
Compos'd this mighty army's spacious boast;
Of different manners, different languages;
And different habits, too, they wore,
And different arms they bore;
And some, like Scythians, liv'd on blood,
And some on green, and some on flowery food;
And Accaron, the airy prince, led on this various
Houses secure not men, the populous ill [host.
Did all the houses fill:
The country all around

From whence thy wandering Nile begins his Did with the cries of tortur'd cattle sound;

Course

Of 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' murder stains them all:

About the fields enrag'd they flew,
And wish'd the plague that was t' ensue.
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.
Thirst, giddiness, faintness, and putrid heats,
And pining pains, and shivering sweats,
On all the cattle, all the beasts, did fall;
With deform'd death the country's cover'd all.
The labouring ox drops down before the plough;
The crowned victims to the altar led

Sink, and prevent the lifted blow: The generous horse from the full manger turns his head,

Does his lov'd floods and pastures scorn, Hates the shrill trumpet and the horn, Nor can his lifeless nostril please With the once-ravishing smell of all his dappled mistresses;

The starving sheep refuse to feed,
They bleat their innocent souls out into air;
The faithful dogs lie gasping by them there;
Th' astonish'd shepherd weeps, and breaks his
tuneful reed.

Thus did the beasts for man's rebellion die;
God did on man a gentler med'cine try,
And a disease, for physic, did apply.
Warm ashes from the furnace Moses took;
The sorcerers did with wonder on him look,
And smil'd at th' unaccustom'd spell,

Which no Egyptian rituals tell:
He flings the pregnant ashes through the air,
And speaks a mighty prayer;
Both which the ministering winds around all
Egypt bear.

As gentle western blasts with downy wings,
Hatching the tender springs,

[way:

To th' unborn buds with vital whispers say,
"Ye living buds why do ye stay?"
The passionate buds break through the bark their
So, wheresoe'er this tainted wind but blew,
Swelling pains and ulcers grew:

It from the body call'd all sleeping poisons out,
And to them added new ;

A noisome spring of sores, as thick as leaves, did sprout.

Heaven itself is angry next;

(Woe to man, when Heaven is vext!)
With sullen brow it frown'd,

And murmur'd first in an imperfect sound:
Till Moses, lifting up his hand,

Waves the expected signal of his wand;
And all the full-charg'd clouds in ranged squad-

rons move,

And fill the spacious plains above;

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The very hail, and rain itself, had kindled been.

The infant corn, which yet dia carce appear, Escap'd this general massacre

Of every thing that grew,
And the well-stor'd Egyptian year
Began to clothe her fields and trees anew.
When lo; a scorching wind from the burnt coun.
And endless legions with it drew [tries blew,
Of greedy locusts; who, where'er
Left all the earth depopulate and bare,
With sounding wings they flew,
As if Winter itself had march'd by there.
Whate'er the Sun and Nile

Gave with large bounty to the thankful soil,
The wretched pillagers bore away,
And the whole Summer was their prey;
Till Moses with a prayer

Breath'd forth a violent western wind, Which all these living clouds did headlong bear (No stragglers left behind)

Into the purple sea, and there bestow
On the luxurious fish a feast they ne'er did know.
With untaught joy Pharaoh the news does hear,
And little thinks their fate attends on him and
his so near.

What blindness or what darkness did there e'er
Like this undocile king's appear!
What, eer, but that which now does represent
And paint the crime out in the punishment?
From the deep baleful caves of Hell below,
Where the old mother Night does grow-
Substantial Night, that does disclaim
Privation's empty name-

Through secret conduits monstrous shapes arose,
Such as the Sun's whole force could not oppose:
They with a solid cloud

All Heaven's eclipsed face did shroud; Seem'd, with large wings spread o'er the sea and earth,

To brood up a new Chaos's deformed birth.
And every lamp, and every fire,
Did at the dreadful sight wink and expire,
To th' empyrean source all streams of light
seem'd to retire.

The living men were in their standing houses bu-
But the long Night no slumber knows, [ried;
But the short Death finds no repose!
Ten thousand terrours through the darkness fled,

Through which the rolling thunder first does And ghosts complain'd, and spirits murmured;

play,

And opens wide the tempest's noisy way.

And straight a stony shower

Of monstrous hail does downwards pour, Such as ne'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;

And Fancy's multiplying sight View'd all the scenes invisible of Night.

Of God's dreadful anger these Were but the first light skirmishes; The shock and bloody battle now begins,' The plenteous harvest of full-ripen'd sins. It was the time when the still Moon Was monnted softly to her noon, And dewy sleep,which from Night's secret springs Gently as Nile the land o'erflows. When lo! from the high countries of refined day, The golden heaven without allay

Whose dross, in the creation purg'd away,

[arose,

Made up the Sun's adulterate rayMichael, the warlike prince, does downwards fly, Swift as the journies of the sight, Swift as the race of light,

And with his winged will cuts through the yielding sky.

He pass'd through many a star, and, as he past, Shone (like a star in them) more brightly there

Than they did in their sphere. [last, On a tall pyramid's pointed head he stopp'd at And a mild look of sacred pity cast Down on the sinful land where he was sent,

T' inflict the tardy punishment.

"Ah! yet," said he, "yet, stubborn king! repent, Whilst thus unarm'd I stand, [hand; Ere the keen sword of God fill my commanded Suffer but yet thyself, and thine to live:

Who would, alas! believe,

That it for man," said he,

"So hard to be forgiven should bè, And yet for God so easy to forgive!"

He spoke, and downwards flew, And o'er his shining form a well-cut cloud he Made of the blackest fleece of Night, [threw, 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,

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The sharpest sword that e'er was laid 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,

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."

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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.

None, from the meanest beast to Cenchre's pur- The wondering army saw on either hand

ple 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 noise;

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, Longer with its edge to play;

No diligence or cost they spare

To haste the Hebrews now away,
Pharaoh himself chides their delay;
So kind and bountiful is fear!

But, oh! the bounty which to fear we owe,

The no-less-wondering waves like rocks of crystal 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 then 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,

As several troops do all at once a common signal

take.

What tongue th' amazement and th'affright can

tell

Which on the Chamian army fell,

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The proposition. The invocation. The entrance
into the history from a new agreement be-
twixt Saul and David. A description of Hell.
The Devil's speech Envy's reply to him.
Her appearing to Saul in the shape of Benja-
min. 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 ordi-
nary subjects of their poetry. Saul's guards
pursue David thither, and prophesy.
Saul
among the prophets. He is compared to Ba-
laam, whose song concludes the book.
I SING the man who Judah's sceptre bore
In that right-hand which held the crook before;
Who from best poet, best of kings did grow;
The two chief gifts Heaven could on man bestow.
Much danger first, much toil, did he sustain,
Whilst Saul and Hell cross'd his strong fate in vain.
Nor did his crown less painful work afford,
Less exercise his patience or his sword:

So long her conqueror, Fortune's spite pursued;
Till with unwearied virtue he subdued

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,
And gav'st him birth from whom thyself wast born;
Who didst in triumph at Death's court appear,
And slew'st him with thy nails, thy cross, and

spear,

Whilst Hell's black tyrant trembled to behold
The glorious light he forfeited of old:
Who, Heaven's glad burthen now, and justest pride,
Sitt'st high enthron'd next thy great Father's
side

(Where hallow'd flames help to adorn 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 witch-
craft, 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.
Their gods too long were devils, and virtues sin;
Too long the Muses' land hath heathen been;
Th' apostle to convert that world to thee;
But thou, Eternal Word! hast call'd forth me,
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:

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