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The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;

From haunted spring and dale,

Edged with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent; With flower-inwoven tresses torn,

The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.

In consecrated earth,

And on the holy hearth,

The Lars and Lemures mourn with mid

night plaint.

In urns and altars round,

A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service


And the chill marble seems to sweat, While each peculiar power foregoes his wonted seat.

Peor and Baälim

Forsake their temples dim

With that twice-battered God of Pales


And moonèd Ashtaroth,

Heaven's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine;

The Libyac Hammon shrinks his horn;
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded
Thammuz mourn.

And sullen Moloch, fled,

Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue: In vain with cymbals' ring

They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue:

The brutish gods of Nile as fast,

Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.

Nor is Osiris seen

In Memphian grove or green,

Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings loud;

Nor can he be at rest

Within his sacred chest,

Naught but profoundest hell can be his shroud;

In vain with timbreled anthems dark The sable-stolèd sorcerers bear his worshiped ark.

He feels from Judah's land

The dreaded infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky


Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine; Our babe, to show his Godhead true,

Can in his swaddling bands control the damned crew.

So, when the sun in bed,

Curtained with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave, The flocking shadows pale

Troop to the infernal jail,

Each fettered ghost slips to his several


And the yellow-skirted fays

Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved maze.

But see, the Virgin blest

Hath laid her babe to rest;

Time is our tedious song should here have


Heaven's youngest-teemèd star

Hath fixed her polished car,

Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp


And all about the courtly stable

Bright-harnessed angels sit in order serv


John Milton


About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill.

Is the noise of grief in the palace over the river

For this silent one at my side?

There came a hush in the night, and he rose with his hands a-quiver

Like lotus petals adrift on the swing of the tide.

O small cold hands, the day groweth old for sleeping!

O small still feet, rise up, for the hour is late!

Rise up, my son, for I hear them mourning and weeping

In the temple down by the gate!

Hushed is the face that was wont to brighten with laughter

When I sang at the mill;

And silence unbroken shall greet the sorrowful dawns hereafter,

The house shall be still.

Voice after voice takes up the burden of wailing

Do you not heed, do you not hear?— in the high priest's house by the wall.

But mine is the grief, and their sorrow is all unvailing.

Will he awake at their call?

Something I saw of the broad dim wings half folding

The passionless brow.

Something I saw of the sword that the shadowy hands were holding,

What matters it now?

I held you close, dear face, as I knelt and harkened

To the wind that cried last night like a soul

in sin,

When the broad bright stars dropped down and the soft sky darkened

And the presence moved therein.

I have heard men speak in the market-place of the city,

Low-voiced, in a breath,

Of a God who is stronger than ours, and who knows not changing nor pity,

Whose anger is death.

Nothing I know of the lords of the outland


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