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Bid both the poles suppress their stormy noise,
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,
I see the scabbard cast away;
God does a solemn sacrifice prepare ;
The altar all the land, and all men in 't the vic
Since, wicked men's more guilty blood to spare,
So will they fall, so will they flee,
Nature and Time shall both be slain,
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
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
(Though thou stand'st just upon the brink)
That by thine own dead shall be slain
As one who buys, surveys, a ground,
To call us home,
Home to the 'promis'd Canaan above, [honey flow;
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
"If from some god you come," (said the proud
With half a smile and half a frown;
But what god can to Egypt be unknown?)
The river yet gave one instruction more;
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!"
And his long half in painted folds behind him
Upwards his threatening tail he threw ;
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
Jannes and Jambres stopp'd their flight,
And mutter'd secret sounds that charm the ser-
The evil spirits their charms obey,
And in a subtle cloud they snatch the rods away,
Were ready still at hand,
And all at the Old Serpent's first command.
So much was over-power'd,
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
In their strange current drown'd:
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
With welcome presents in his hand)
Nor Pharaoh, nor his gods, they fear;
But both were to no use;
And all the dust did straight to stir begin;
And every dust did an arm'd vermin prove,
Either to man or beast.
Not Pharaoh from th' unquiet plague could be,
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
From whence thy wandering Nile begins his Did with the cries of tortur'd cattle sound;
Of this new Nile thou seest the sacred source;
What plague more just could on thy waters fall?
About the fields enrag'd they flew,
And over all the land did the full vial shake.
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,
Thus did the beasts for man's rebellion die;
Which no Egyptian rituals tell:
As gentle western blasts with downy wings,
To th' unborn buds with vital whispers say,
It from the body call'd all sleeping poisons out,
A noisome spring of sores, as thick as leaves, did sprout.
Heaven itself is angry next;
(Woe to man, when Heaven is vext!)
And murmur'd first in an imperfect sound:
Waves the expected signal of his wand;
And fill the spacious plains above;
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,
Gave with large bounty to the thankful soil,
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
What blindness or what darkness did there e'er
Through secret conduits monstrous shapes arose,
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.
The living men were in their standing houses bu-
Through which the rolling thunder first does And ghosts complain'd, and spirits murmured;
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
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,
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
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."
Unloose their close embraces, and divide;
(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
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,
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 Sun did with astonishment behold
By his own priests, the poets, has been said,
The upper waves, that highest crowded lie,
Give the word "March" to all behind.
As several troops do all at once a common signal
What tongue th' amazement and th'affright can
Which on the Chamian army fell,
The proposition. The invocation. The entrance
So long her conqueror, Fortune's spite pursued;
All home-bred malice, and all foreign boasts;
Thou, who didst David's royal stem adorn,
Whilst Hell's black tyrant trembled to behold
(Where hallow'd flames help to adorn that head
In these untrodden paths to sacred fame!
I consecrate my Magdalene to thee!
The malice now of jealous Saul grew less,