Slike strani


es The God of flaves!" said they," how can he be “ More pow'rful than their master's deity?And down they cast their rods, And mušter'd secret sounds that charm the servile The evil spirits their charms obey,

gods. 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,

60 And all at th' Old Serpent's first command: And they, too, gap'd, and they, too, hiss’d, And they their threat'ning tails did twist; But straight on both the Hebrew-serpent flow, Broke both their active backs, and both it few, 65 And both almost at once devour'd; So much was overpow'r'd By God's miraculous creation His servants Nature's flightly-wrought and feeblege


(neration. On the fam'd bank the prophets stood,

70 Touch'd with their rod, and wounded all the flood; Flood now no more, but a long vein of putrid blood : The helpless fish were found In their strange current drown'd; The herbs and trees waih'd by the mortal tide 75 About it blush'd and dy'd: Th'anazed crocodiles made haste to ground; From their vatt trunks the dropping gore they spied, Thought it their own, and dreadfully aloud they cried:


Nor all thy prietts, nor thou

80 Oh, King! couldft ever show From whence thy wand'ring Nile begins his course; Of this new Nile thou seest the sacred source, And as thy land that does o’erflow, Take heed left this do fo. What plague more just could on thy waters fall? The Hebrew infants' murder ftains them all. The kind, instructing punishment, enjoy; Whom the Red river cannot mend, the Red-sea shall


[destroy. The river yet gave one instruction more,

90 And from the rotting fish and unconcocted gore, Which was but water just before, A loathsome host was quickly made, [country'invade. That scald the banks, and with loud noise did all the As Nilus when he quits his facred bed,

95 (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, From th' unexhausted source ftill new recruits arise: Nor does the carth 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 :




[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Unsatiate yet, they mount up high'r,
Where never sun-born frog durst to aspire,
And in the filken beds cheir slimy members place,
A luxury unknown before to all the wat’ry race. 110

The water thus her wonders did produce,
But both were to no use:
Asyet the Sorcerers' mimick power serv'd for excufe.
Try what the earth will do, said God, and, lo!
They stroke the earth a fertile blow,

And all the dust did straight to stir begin,
One would have thought some sudden wind it had
But, lo! 't was nimble Life was got within! [been;
And all the little springs did move,
And ev'ry dust did an armı'd vermine prove,
Of an unknown and new-created kind,
Such as the magick gods could neither make or find.
The wretched shameful foe allow'd no rest
Either to man or beaft;
Not Pharaoh from th’unquiet plague could be, 125
With all his change of raiments, frce;
The devils themselves confefs'd
This was God's hand; and 't was but just
To punish thus man's pride, to punish dust with duft.

Lo! the third element does his plagues prepare, 130
And (warming clouds of infect fill the air;
With fullen noise they take their flight,

I 20

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And march in bodies infinite;
In vain 't is day above, ’t is still beneath them night.
Of harmful fies the nations numberless

Compos'd this mighty army's fpacious boast;
Of different manners, different languages,
And different habits, too, they wore,
And different arms they bore;
And fome, like Scythians, liv'd on blood, 140
And some on green, and some on flow'ry food,
And Accaron, the airy prince, led on this various hoft.
Houses secure not men; the populous ill
Did all the houses fill:
The country all around,

145 Did with the cries of tortur'd cattle found; About the fields enrag'd they flew, And wish'd the plague that was t'ensue.

IX. From poisonous stars a mortal influence came, (The mingled malice of their flame)

150 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:

160 The generous horse from the full manger turns his Does his lov'd floods and pastures scorn, [head, Hates the shrill trumpet and the horn, Nor can his lifeless noftril please

164 With the once-ravishing smell of all his dappled miThe starving sheep refuse to feed, [ftreffes. They bleet their innocent souls out into air ; The faithful dogs lie gasping by them there; Th' astonisk'd shepherd weeps, and breaks his tune

[ful reed. Thus did the beasts for man's rebellion die, 170 God did on man a gentler medicine try, And a disease for phyfick did apply. Warm ashes from the furnace Moses took, The Sorcerers did with wonder on him look, And smil'd at th' unaccustom'd fpell

175 Which no Egyptian rituals tell. He flings the pregnant alhes thro' the air, And speaks a mighty pray’r, Both which the minist'ring winds around all Egypt As gentle western blafts, with downy wings [bear. Hatching the tender springs,

18 To th’unborn buds with vital whispers say, Ye living Buds why do ye stay? The passionate buds break thro’ the bark their way; Sa whereroe'er this tainted wind but blew, 185 Swelling pains and ulcers grew; Volume 11,

« PrejšnjaNaprej »