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It from the body call’d all sleeping poisons out,
190 Wo to man when Heav'n is vex'd; With fullen brow it frown'd, And murmur'd first in an imperfect found; Till Moses, lifting up his hand, Waves the expected signal of his wand,
195 And all the full-charg'd clouds in ranged squadrons And fill the spacious plains above ;
(move, Thro' which the rolling thunder first does play, And opens wide the tempeft's noisy way: And straight a stony fhower 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; 205 The houses and strong-body'd trees it broke, Nor ask'd aid from the thunder's stroke: The thunder but for terrour thro' it flew, The hail alone the work could do. The dismal lightnings all around, Some flying thro’the air, some running on the ground, Some swimming o'er the waters' face, Fill'd with bright horrour every place;
One would have thought their dreadful day to have
245 Privation's empty name, Thro' secret conduits monstrous shapes arose, Such as the sun's whole force could not oppose; They with a solid cloud All heav'n's eclipfed face did shroud;
250 Seem'd with large wingsspreado'er the sea and earth, To brood up a new Chaos his deformed birth; And every lamp, and every fire, Did, at the dreadful fight, wink and expire, To ch'empyrean source all Atreams of light feem'd to retire.
255 The living men were in their standing houses buried; But the long night no flumber knows, But the short death finds no repose. Ten thousand terrours thro' the darkness fled, And ghosts complain'd, and spirits murmured, 26 And fancies multiplying fight View'd all the scenes invisible of night.
XIV. Of God's dreadful
these Were but the first light skirmishes;
The shock and bloody battle now begins,
290 " That it for man, said he, “So hard to be forgiv'n fhould be, " And yet for God so casy to forgive!"
XV. He spoke, and downwards flew, And o'er his shining form a well-cut cloud he threw, Made of the blackest fleece of night,
296 And close-wrought to keep in the pow'rful light; Yet wrought fo fine it hinder'd not his flight, But thro' the keyholes and the chinks of doors, And thro’ the narrowest walks of crooked pores, 300 He pass’d more swift and free Than in wide air the wanton swallows flee: He took a pointed peftilence in his hand, The spirits of thousand mortal poisons made The strongly-temper'd blade,
305 The sharpest sword that e'er was laid Upin the magazines of God to scourge a wicked land; Thro’Egypt's wicked land his niarch he took, And as he march'd the sacred first-born strook Of every womb; none did he fpare;
310 None, from the meanest beast to Cenchre's purple XVI.
[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.
315 The mixed sounds of scatter'd deaths they hear, And lose their parted souls 't wixt grief and fear. Louder than all the shrieking women's voice Pierces this chaos of confused noise ;