Canto Eleven recounts the betrayal of Christ, with allegorical characters of War, Avarice, and Treachery. Several allusions are made to Oliver Cromwell and his allies, for whom Treachery reserves a space in her dungeon.
In sordid Love of thick and rusting Clay,
Prodigious Judas LOVE himself doth sell:
But for his pains, besides the Highpriest's Pay,
Receives a dreadful Sallary of Hell,
Which met him upon earth, and from his foul
And splitting body tore his wounded Soul.
ENVY, thou rankling Bane of Quietness,
And of thy Self, what makes thy Rage so Mad
To play the Canker in all kind of Bliss,
And on thine own Vexation live! A Rod
To thine own wretched back, most peevish Elf
No less than to the World's, thou mak'st thy self.
All other Monsters are content to spare
Themselves, and only feast upon their Prey:
But whensoe'r thy Prizes fattest are,
Thou pinest most; and find'st a cursed way
Strangely to fast in riot, and to grow
Leanest when Plenty's streams about thee flow.
In thy mischievous womb was Discord bred,
The correspondent Brat of such a Dame;
A Brook which well becomes its Fountain head,
And can with equal genuine poison stream;
A Brook which round about the tainted World
Its arms pernicious Embrace hath hurl'd.
This is that fatal and destructive Jar
Which frets and interrupts the Harmony
Wherein all different Things concenter'd were
By peaceful Nature's sweet and sacred Ty:
That Jar which in Time's nonage belk'd and beat
So high, that ope to War the way it set.
To War, that foulest fiercest Sum of all
The worst of Hell: fell Belzebub at first
Begot the Monster of his own proud Gall,
From whence in Heav'n unhappily it burst:
A Birth-place bow unfit for such a Birth!
And well it was that Heav'n strait cast it forth.
Heav'n cast it forth: but Hell receiv'd the Brat,
And hug'd it close, and nurst, and kept it warm;
Fed there with fire and blood, it soon grew fat
And strong enough to raise a desperate storm
In his black Nursury, whose rampant Revels
In wild confusion tumbled all the Devils.
When Satan saw his mad Activity,
With hellish joy he kiss'd his genuine Son;
And as he kick'd his Father's Courtesy,
And scratch'd his kissing lips; this Sign alone
Dear Child, cry'd He, sufficient is to prove
Thou art my Issue, and deserv'st my love.
Then from his own viperous Tresses He
Pluck'd three Large handfuls of his longest Snakes,
Of which, with pois'nous liberality,
A favour for his darling Child he makes;
Who ever since in frightful triumph wears
The hissing Discord all about his ears.
He thus adorn'd without, and stor'd within
With sutable desires: a full Commission
Sole General to be of every Sin,
Of all Confusion, and of all Perdition
His Father grants him; and then sends him forth
To try what ruins he could work on Earth.
(The cunning Serpent lov'd his Hole too well
To suffer desperate War to harbour there
He knew that ev'n in his own Realm of Hell
Division would the joints and cement tear.
Which in obedience to his sovereign Pride
The Peers and Commons of Damnation ty'd.)
As through the bowels of deep Tellus He
Rent ope his way, amazed Nature shook
Affrighted Quiet and Serenity
Their ardent flight to Heav'n for shelter took;
Leaving behind an universal Groan:
Through all the World such fatal Terror ran.
But blustering on the Fury sought where he
Might entertainment for his Mischief meet.
First to the Lyons' Dens he rush'd, to see
Whether their mighty Mouths, and armed feet
Might not be taught to manage with delight
The endless Quarrel of intestine Spight.
Big things he spoke, and highly magnify'd
The sweets of Licence and unbounded Will,
The gallant triumphs of that venturous Pride
Which scorning all the sheepish pleas of chill
And timorous Tenderness, upon the head
Of Nature's strictest Laws could freely tread.
The royal Beasts with generous disdain
Look'd on the Monster, and lay couchant still,
Wisely resolv'd Themselvs to hold the chain
Of their own Strength; and, when they pleas'd to fill
Their Lust with Blood, to hunt it up and down
The Woods, but never riot in their own.
Repulsed here; He made the like Address
To Dragons, Tigres, Panthers, Wolves, and Bears
But they still hug'd their natural Friendlyness
Sealing against his charms their honest ears.
The Monster vex'd, and tore himself, to see
That wildest Creatures would not disagree.
Then Eagles, Vultures, Harpyes, and the brood
Of every cruel-beak'd fierce-tallon'd Bird
To mutual Salvagenesses' trade he woo'd:
But sober they their warey wings bestir'd,
And flying from his barbarous Advice
Traffick'd for Prey among their Enemies.
At last to Man he came: and who could dream
That sweetly-temper'd He, the only Thing
Which Heav'n's peculiar Hand vouchaf'd to frame
He who could fight for nothing, being King
Of all this world; He who unarm'd was made;
Should turn Apprentice to the Warlike Trade!
Yet Man, the Riddle of all Monstrousness,
To this wild Monster desperate welcome gave:
Mad Man, for whom a thousand Maladies
Perpetually were digging ope his grave,
Would needs go learn a surer speedyer way
To cut that Life which posteth to Decay.
For Cain (th' original Curse's firstborn Heir,)
No sooner saw the Fury's looks, but he
More ameable fancy'd them and fair,
Then gentle Abel's blessed Suavity,
Ah wretched Fancy, whose blind Violence
Murder'd a Quarter of the World at once!
Yea more than so: for that inhumane Wound
Which in his Brother's Body sunk so deep,
Did on himself more fatally rebound,
And in his Soul the cursed Weapon steep:
Such is his self-revenging Guilt, that Cain
The living Murderer's more than Abel slain.
Yet could that dreadful Mark's all-warning sight,
Which seal'd his Crime on his despairing face.
From venturing in his bloody steps not fright
Succeeding Generations; still they trace
The guilty Tract, regardless of the Cries
With which Blood wakens Vengeance and the Skies.
With unrelenting Steel they barbarize
Their tender Flesh, and cloth their skin with Brass;
They for Destruction proper Tools devise
To hasten on the fate of fading Grass,
To Time's not lazy Sithe they join their arts
Of Death, Spears, Arrows, Daggers, Swords, and Darts.
And loth that any dull Delay should make
Them loose the credit of their Madness, They
Trust not their own two feet, but mount the back
Of fiery Quadrupeds; with cruel joy
Flying to salvageness in full carreer,
And triumphing their brethren's hearts to tear.
Yea though the Vengeance of that Deluge, which
Washed away that bloody Torrent, and
Those who rejoic'd to quaff it; well might teach
Poor Man how needless 'twas to arm his hand
Against himself: He still resolv'd no Flood
Of Water should confute his Thirst of Blood.
O no! He more industrious daily grows
In butchering Wrath, and with it taints the heart
Of gentle Learning, which his cunning draws
In all his bloodyest Plots to act its part.
Hence came those Engins which so strangely spit
Death's multiply'd and deadlyer made by Wit.
Yea these, as Rage's Lameness He disdains,
Angry to see that Heav'n's Artillery flies
Swifter than his: this made him bend his brains
To shoot his fury like th' incensed Skies:
Thus from his Canon's mouths the Thunders roar,
The Lightnings flash, smoke, Bullets, Vengeance pour.
No snaky Feinds with more remorseless spight
Rend one another's breasts, than Man doth Man's:
Wounds, Shrieks and Gaspings are his proud Delight;
And he by Hellishness his Prowess scans:
In humane Blood he strives to write his stories,
And by his Murders counteth up his Glories.
Thus milde Humanity aside is thrown,
And Manhood takes from War its ominous Name.
Alas! and was not genuine Manhood known
Till Pride and Spight disjointed Nature's frame;
Till Beasts upbraided Man, who entertain'd
That horrid Monster which all They disdain'd?
Were there not lusty Sins, whose sturdy might
Sufficient fuel could afford to feed
The boldest valour of the bravest Wight;
And with a fairer Laurel court his Head,
Than those unhappy wreaths which smeared are
Thick in the gore of an unnatural war.
Had not each Breast their enemies at home,
With which no truce could honorable be?
Was any Heart of Man secured from
The headstrong Passion's dangerous mutiny?
There, there that Field was to be pitch'd, wherein
True Virtue might the noblest Prizes win.
But ah! that blessed Combat is forgot
In this wild heat of fighting: Licence here
Commands in chief, and from its Quarters shut
Law, Property, and sober Order are:
In whose fair rooms the foul Troops listed be
Of rampant Rage, Rapes, Rapines, Luxury.
For when this more than brutish General once
In lawless gulfs himself had plunged, he
Prints on his mad adventure's exigence,
The specious title of Necessity:
To which he blushes not to count the Law,
Whether of Earth or Heav'n oblig'd to bow.
Shame on their Souls, who love this Trade of Hate
At others, and their own destruction's price,
From their own bosoms quite erasing what
Might prove them Men. But their impieties
Swell highest, who the Name of Christian wear.
Yet stain it in the blood of causeless War.
Impudent Boldness! which can to advance
Most meek Religion, put on Barbarousness,
And make the bond of Sweetness their presence,
To break all other yoaks; which dares profess
In fights to rescue that, whose highest praise
Injurious suffrings always us'd to raise.
Which garrisons the Pulpits first, and makes
The venal Tongues of roaring Preachers set
The Trumpets their alarming Tune: which seeks
To plunder Consciences, and to defeat
Unarmed Souls, before its faulchions hack
Their Bodies, or their Goods its paws attack.
Which in despight of God will take his part,
And war for Heav'n, against Heav'n's flat Command:
Which with a Brazen-face, and harder Heart
Under the Cross's Banner marches, and
Makes Patience's noblest Trophy over
Th' unruly head of bloody Fury hover.
Which to maintain the Church, her maintenance
Grasps and devours: which licenseth the Flock
To tear the Shepherds: which in Truth's defence
Imprison her, and to complete the Mock,
Breaks open Hell, and lets loose thousands fries
Of giddy Schisms, and frantick Heresies.
Which, if defeated, by an hardy Lye,
Recruits its credit, and before the face
Of scoffed Heav'n in proud solemnity,
Enacts Thanksgivings: which accounteth Peace
Its most assured ruin; and no snares
Like those of honest sober Treaties fears.
The glorious Army of those Martyrs, who
To Heav'n in Triumph's Chariot ascended,
And never learn'd Christ and Religion so;
Both which they by a surer way defended,
Drowning all opposition in the flood,
Not of their foes, but of their own brave Blood.
Nor did Heav'n's most propicious bottles e'er
Distil more fertile showers on thirsty Earth;
Than streamed from those Heros' veins, to cheer
The new-sown Churches' Seeds, and help them forth
Into that sudden goodly Crop, which swell'd
So high, that all the wondering World it fill'd.
Can others' Blood their tincture he, who are
Sworn servants to the King of sweetest Peace?
That King who deign'd to be a Lamb, and wear
Of Tenderness the white and dainty fleece?
That King whose business, and whose dearest joy
It is to save, but never to destroy.
That King, who to this World forbore to stoop,
Till every sword return'd unto its sheath;
Till Quiet sealed Janus's Temple up;
Till Nature was restor'd to lead on Death;
Till Peace's calm had pav'd his passage plain,
And Men repented into Men again.
Yet being come; though Satan could not raise
An open tempest to disturb him, he
Contrives a thousand secret envious ways,
Patching his want of force with subtilty:
He lends fresh malice to the peevish Jews,
And in the High-priest's Head his projects brews.
Annas and Caiaphas conspire to try
How their popular Glories may protect,
Which daily they beheld eclipsed by
The splendor which the Name of Jesus deckt;
Upon whose flames, if nothing else will do
Rather than fail, his Blood they plot to throw.
And Phylax, through this Story's tract thought fit
Psyche's attention to lead; for He
After their short reposement, bids her sit
Steady and fast: and yielding then the free
And long-desired reins to's fervid Steeds,
Quick as the wind to Salemward he speeds.
There, over Sion's head he plucked back
The bridle; strait his docile Coursers knew
The language of his hand, an 'gan to slack
Their pace, and in a semicircle flew
For by one wing they the other fought,
And damp'd their course by wheeling thus about.
Then lighting on the Hill, their mains they shaked
And lifting high their heads, toss'd up their voice:
The bottoms at their mighty neighings quaked
And from their caves flung back the doubled noise:
Till Phylax spake; when with fair manners they
Humbled their awed crests, and ceas'd to neigh.
Though to this World thy Lord himself, said he,
So much indear'd by those sweet Miracles.
A taste of which I have presented thee:
Yet so importunately loud was Hell's
Invidious clamor in the High-priest's ear.
As all Heav'n's words and works to overbear.
And now the thicker Wonders Jesus does,
More Articles against himself he draws:
The shameless Judges turn his vowed foes,
Forgetting Rights, and urging Envy's Laws:
And in black Envy's impudent esteem
No crime so foul as Piety doth seem.
But how this Malice brought about her end,
And rais'd her self to that transcendent pitch
Of Monstrousness, which never any Fiend
With Hell's most scrued wit before could reach
Deserves thy Ear and Hate: and forth will I
The venom pump of that rank History.
Near Erebus's yawning mouth a cave there is,
(The little Emblem of that greater Realm,)
The native house and home of Avarice,
Who though her craving thoughts quite overwhelm
The Universe, yet whatsoe'r she gains
As lean and hungry as before remains.
If ought but Money there for entrance call,
The door is deaf; for its bewitched ears
No noise, no musick apprehend at all
But Money's chink: which it no sooner hears
But ope it flings its mouth as fast and wide,
As Tigers when their prey they welcome bid.
Six yellow springs before the threshold rise
Infected by that House's Neighborhood;
Which stealing far, through Earth's close cavities
Disgorge their splendidly-contagious flood
On this condemned World, devouring here
More than in stormy Seas e'er swallow'd were.
Indus and Ganges range about the East
Pactolus taints the middle of the Earth
But Tagus undertakes to cheat the West,
And spews in Spain his glistering poison forth:
The North is Hebrus's charge, and treacherous he
Breaks ope his way through Thracian Rhodope.
Plate slips into the further World, to put
To pains and cost adventurous Covetousness:
Who, when her thirst is grown maturely hot
Will scorn th' Atlantick Ocean's fright, and press
Through unknown Monsters, hunting out that stream
Which shall not quench but more inrage her flame.
For those dire draughts of burning sulphure, that
Fry all the throats of ever-howling Hell,
As soon may cool, and quite confute the hot
Pleas of their furious drought; as any Well,
Or Stream, or Sea of wealth can slake the Fire,
Which reigns in her unsatisfy'd desire.
The structure of the House is plain and poor,
And calls with many a mouth for reparation:
No Clouds can weep that way, but needs must pour,
Through every rotten room an inundation:
In at their pleasure whistling come the winds,
And here a ready Inn all weather finds.
A thousand stilts and props their shoulders set
To aid the walls; where many a wisp and rag
Into the weather-beaten wounds are put:
Such is the thrift of that old carking Hag,
Her House's fall she ventures, but to spare
The simple cost ev'n of a patch'd repair.
Within, vast mouldy Trunks and Hutches stand,
Pil'd to the roof on one another's backs,
Guarded with massy hoops of iron, and
Warily fortify'd with triple locks:
As if indeed some Treasures' shrines they were,
When only yellow Clay lies sleeping there.
There lay that golden Mount the Lydian Prince
Had raised by his numerous Victories:
Unhappy Croesus! who at such expense
Of pains and time, obtain'd so sad a prize,
Which prov'd his Life's sad load, and lower prest
Him than his grave, when Death did him arrest.
There lay the Phrygian Monarch's coined God,
Whose golden Wish made all his Riches poor;
Whose privilege was to want ev'n what he had,
And famish'd be amidst his growing store:
Sure for that Wish he more deserv'd those Ears
Which by the Poet's quaint revenge he wears.
There heaped lay his useless Talents, who
By Pagan's verdict is condemn'd to thirst,
Whilst mocking Currents round about him flow.
Ah Tantalus! how crosly wert thou curst
In Life with Treasures which thou couldst not use,
In Death with Dainties which thy mouth abuse!
There lay the Purse of stern Callicrates,
Who us'd Exaction's iron hand to rake
Up gold, and make th' Athenian miseries
Swell equally with his huge wealth; who brake
The Laws in lawless urging them, that he
Owner of what he could not keep might be.
The stuffed Coffers of rich Cinyras,
The prisons of his Cyprian Plenty, there
Congested were in mighty throngs: the Mass,
Of Gyges's glittering joys, which far and near
Wonder and envy rais'd, lay next to them,
But all abashed now with rusty shame.
The teeming Bags, which Pelops brooded o'r;
The wealth which Crassus upon heaps had heap'd;
Darius's brave inestimable store,
There in their sepulchres of darkness sleep'd:
So did great Pharaoh's, into whose vast barn,
A crop of Gold was brought for that of Corn.
Whatever Rapine, Fraud, Oppression, Lies,
Distrustful Greediness, vexatious Care,
Had snatch'd, stole, poll'd, or scraped, to suffice
What could not filled be, was crowded there.
Men little think that all such Riches will
Go home at last, and with their Plutus dwell.
Nay, there that proud Accumulation lay
Which dares call every other Treasures poor;
That wealth which did the Golden Age display,
When Solomon the Crown of Israel wore;
Who such disgrace on silver pour'd, that it
Like vulgar stones was kick'd about the street.
Wise as he was, that King well understood
That with those huge ador'd Vacuities,
Which puff the World up with their frothy flood,
Ev'n massy Gold must counted be; which flies
Away on wings more swift than any thing
That Fortune rolls in Vanity's fine Ring.
He understood how Men's fond estimation
Gilds that by which they gild all things beside;
How in the Coach of their own admiration,
They make pale Earth in glorious triumph ride;
For though their poring sight be weak and gross,
His eye discern'd that Gold it self is dross.
Alas, as here in all its strength it lay
Immur'd in thousand Chests, it could not by
Its power, or its value keep away
Aeruginous Cankers, which eternally
Both dwell and feed upon it; nor could all
Those mighty Locks forbid their Festival.
But howling round about the woful room,
Ran those unhappy Souls, whose thirst of Gold
Had plung'd them in this everlasting Doom:
Souls, which to their own Bags themselves had sold,
And bought their Prison; from whose misery
Their useless wealth could no Redemption buy.
His mystick Wand there wrinkled Balaam crack'd,
And flung his wretched Charms about the floor;
Cursing the day when he to Balak pack'd
In sordid love of vile-bred Mony more
Than Truth and Heav'n; and crying oft, Alas,
Who was the Wizzard then, and who the Ass!
There guilty Achan roar'd, himself to see
So gorgeous in his Babylonish Cloak;
Besides, to make him rich in misery,
Deep in his heart his Golden Wedge was stuck:
And his two hundred silver Shekels fast
About his feet were into fetters cast.
There cursed Ahab with Soul-gnawing fright,
Thought Naboth's Ghost came flashing in his face;
Whose guiltless Blood quite quenched that delight
With which the Vine's should have inflam'd his glass:
For all the stones which Calumny had thrown
On Naboth's head, he felt upon his own.
Gehazy there, as white with Leprosy
As guilt had dy'd him odious and black,
His double Change of Garments hates; which he
Can for his noisome sores no cover make;
And still he starts, and thinks his Master's eye
Doth him and his two Syrian Talents spy.
There Dives rends his Purple, and away
Kicks his now bitterly-delicious Feasts:
His Envy snarleth at his Dogs, since they
Less dogged were than He to needy Guests;
Whose boils they kindly kiss'd and lick'd, whilst He
With cruel railings griev'd their misery.
There Demas curses all the World, with which
His Gold-bewitched Soul in love did fall;
Lamenting his vain plot of growing, rich,
By flowing from the Poverty of Paul;
That glorious Poverty which to the fair
Treasures of Heav'n was now the granted heir.
This ugly Room the decent Portal was
Into the Temple miserably builded
Of equal vileness: yet with lofty grace
Its ruinous Roof was screwed up, and yielded
Full space for Majesty to stand upright,
And let the God appear in his own height.
Hast thou not heard how, when on Dura's Plain
Nebuchadnezzar's Oven's hot mouth did gape
For those who fear'd Hell's furnace, and the stain
Of foul Idolatry; proud He in deep
Disdain of Heav'n, rear'd sixty cubits high
The Mountain of his Golden Deity?
The Copy of that Idol hence he took,
And still th' Original in this Temple stands;
Such is the massy Head and such the Look,
Such are the Legs, the Breast, the Arms, the Hands;
Such is its monstrous Bulk, and such the Beams,
With which its pure and burnish'd metal flames.
His Name is Mammon; and although he be
So dead a Lump, that aid he cannot lend
To's heavy self; yet to [t]his Deity
The most of living mortals couch and bend:
Heav'n's King with all his powers of Love and Bliss,
Of works on humane hearts with less success.
Both those who see, and those who want their eyes
Are by his splendor equally invited;
For both alike are blind, when once they prize
His worthless worth, and feel their Souls delighted
With contemplation of inchanting Money:
Their fond thirst's Milk, their foolish hunger's Honey.
Thrift, that most slander'd thing, pretended is
By every Sex and every Tribe of Men;
Who spare no pains to spare; who weigh their Bliss
In Gold's false scales; who gain not what they win;
Who fretted by th' immediate itch
Of heaping riches, ne'r think they are rich.
Some Young, and Poor; most Old, and Wealthy at
The Idol's footstool reverently lay:
Active and stout was their Devotion's heat,
Disdaining any respit night or day;
And mortifying with hard penance what
Soever Mammon's Laws allowed not.
Where'r He sent them, to the East or West,
The North or South; no War of Heat or Cold,
Of Seas or Tempests, ever could resist
Their venturous March, or make too dear their Gold;
Nor could Earth's mass their hardy pains repel;
Through Mountains they would dive, and dig to Hell.
Thick at his shadowed feet there grew a Crop
Of every villany which taints this Earth;
Fruits which those fond Devotos gather'd up
As fast's the pois'ned roots could bring them forth:
The Golden Crime's Prerogative is such,
That it in other sins is always rich.
In other sins, and in the righteous Curse
Which by wise Vengeance is eternally
Ty'd to the strings of th' avaricious Purse;
For still those Cormorants are tortured by
Vexatious cares and fears of Want the more:
They are incumbred with their growing Store.
That Store, which with such tyrannising aw
In endless bondage holds their Souls, that they,
Though on their Lips their golden Torrents flow,
Yet durst not with one drop their thirst allay;
But choose to antidate their Hell, and learn
Betimes in everlasting Drought to burn.
The Priest, whose service waits upon this Shrine,
Is full as ugly as the Idol's fair:
The raving wallowing Moenades, would fine
Spruce courtly Ladies seem compar'd with Her;
So would the rankest Witch that ever yet
Disfigur'd was in any Magick fit.
Age bends her downward to that Earth in which
To delve and grope, is her profound delight:
As are the backs of bunched Camels, such
Is Her's, and sutes as well with any weight;
All load is light to Her, if but a grain
Of intermixed Profit it contain.
Her face all over's plowed up with Care,
And gastly deep the wretched furrows be:
Her hollow Eyes quite damp'd, and dazell'd are
By glaring on her glistering Deity:
Her sallow Looks, and shrivell'd parched Skin
Confess what pains she takes about her Sin.
Her Nails she never cut, but let them grow
Up with her Wealth, since Scraping was her Trade:
No greedy Vultures could such Tallons show,
And with such hungry hooks no Harpys prey'd:
For with these Engines she was wont to break
Mine's bowels open, and the Center rake.
A putrid Mantle round her stinking Waste
Was all the Robes she would her self allow,
Which she had found upon a dunghil cast
A thousand years before; and which was now
Nine hundred times repatch'd: so deeply did
Her Soul the charges of a new one dread.
Seven stuffed Pouches on a leathern thong
Crouded about her miserable Loins;
With these, of massy Keyes two bunches hung,
The Memorandums of her Treasur'd Mines:
Which Keyes she twenty times a day would tell,
And count what sums did in their keeping dwell.
Though thousand tongues with righteous indignation
Pour'd shames and curses on her sordid Head,
She scorn'd to blush, or from her self-vexation
Release her anxious Soul; for still she fed
Her Thoughts with hopes of more and more, and still
Went on, what never bottom had, to fill.
Patrocles was to Her a generous Knight,
And made his Board fat lavishness's scene:
When she with Dainties would her Taste delight,
Some rotten Root her Banquet was, and when
Her fare she ventur'd highliest to enlarge,
She'd be in salt at half a farthing's charge.
But planted deep she carried in her Breast
The horrid Root of all her monstrous cares,
Blind Infidelity; by which she cast
About how to withstand what her own fears
Made terrible; and built her trust upon
No Power or Providence, but her own alone.
Besides, th' Ideas of her Gold, which lay
Pil'd there in cursed Mountains, rusty grew;
This Rust, its dwelling turn'd into its prey,
And on her Heart with restless gnawing flew:
Yet was her Idol to that Heart so dear,
That for more Money she more Rust would bear.
This Hag was Avarice; whom Satan's Soul
Lov'd near as much as he thy Spouse did hate.
On her might's Axel he presum'd to roul
His final hopes of compassing his great
Design of Malice; knowing well that she
Much more with Men could do, than Heav'n or He.
To her vile Grot himself in person came;
Where with all condescent of courtesy,
Wiping aside the sulphur and the flame,
Which flash'd about his royal Count'nance, He
Saluted her, who never had the Bliss
Obtain'd till now of her grand Sovereign's Kiss.
This favour ravish'd her so deep, that She
The Task he set her triumph'd to receive:
First taking her Commission on her knee,
(Which thrice she kiss'd) and then her hasty leave,
To earth she posts, and findeth there a Cell
Almost as hellish as her native hell.
For to Iscariot's breast her way she snatch'd
Which foolish he left ope without a guard:
With al her venom in she rush'd, and pitch'd
Down in the bottom of his heart: full hard
It was e'r she intruded there; but now
No marble could such proofs of Stiffness show.
Those Words of potent Sweetness which did drop
From Jesu's blessed lips, could Winds, and Seas,
And Sicknesses, and Devils bridle up,
And any Storms but Judas his appease.
Alas, that Man should that sole Monster be
Which is too hard for Mercy's Suavity!
As he who boiling Lead hath swallow'd down,
As violently burns as it; and though
A thousand Seas into his cup were thrown,
They could not quench his drought: so Judas now
Feels his impois'ned belking bosom fry
In covetous Thirsts impatient ardency.
Millions of thoughts run raging through his breast,
And every one of these is all on fire:
He scorns and hates the Poverty of Christ;
No Bliss but Money lureth his desire:
Talk not to him of penniless Piety;
Whate'r it cost, he must have Coin, or die.
Ah strange Resolve! as if Life's Soul were Coin,
Which only paves the way, to flattering Death.
Fond Wretch! who liv'd whilst he did poor remain,
But when for sinful Wealth he trafficks, both
His Money and his Life that Trading cost him,
And every thing but mere Perdition lost him.
Yet was this Poison not enough to swell
His heart: another joyned in the Plot:
Deep in the nasty sink, of lowest Hell
Is situate a dismal gloomy Grot;
A Grot which there in ambush seems to lie
Hatching the egs of all Conspiracy.
And yet within a goodly House was built,
As for the Palace of some virgin Queen:
With quaint Designs the frontispice was gilt;
The total Fabrick smil'd like Beautie's Scene;
Through all the Walls white veins of marble ran;
And yet the Workmanship outshin'd the stone.
What full Balconies, stately Terrasses,
Spruce Anticks, fair Compartments, handsome Cants,
Elaborate freezes, graceful Cornishes,
Brisk and wellorder'd Turrets! nothing wants
That art could give to make the Outside fine
Yet still the House is gallanter within.
The double Door with open lips invites
All Passengers; th' officious Porter there,
Completely learn'd in complemental Rites,
Kind welcome bids them with his vocal cheer;
He smiles, he bows, he fawns, he knows the Name
Of all the Guests; and in he ushers them.
The Hall's large Pavement silken Carpets spread
To court the strangers feet with soft delight;
The dainty Roof is arched over head
With checker'd Roses red, and Lilies white;
Their precious Vapours liberal Odors deal,
And round the room sweet entertainments thrill.
But at the upper-end upon a throne
Of moderate height sits crafty Treachery;
A Fury older than her Hell, and one
Whose years would by her Count'nance witness'd be,
Had Art not interven'd, and taught her how
To make false Spring upon true Winter grow.
Craz'd Jezabel's lank and wrinckled face, was yet
Less out of shape than hers; until she found
A Paint's Hypocrisy to garnish it,
And with a youthful verdure cloth it round;
Thus came her Chinks, all stopp'd, and either cheek
With beauteous politure grew plump and sleek.
Though thousand frowns her thoughts had overspred.
Her outward Aspect wore a gentle guise;
Loves, Joyes, and Smiles were sweetly marshalled
About her lips, her forehead, and her eyes:
Brave Judith's lovely glances ne'r could dart
More potent charms at Oloferne's heart.
Her Tresses, which indeed were Knots of Snakes.
She overlaid with lies of dainty Hair;
Whose waving circling net of amber takes
Spectators' souls as well's the sporting Air;
Atchieving no less valiant wonders, than
The mighty Locks of Manoah's conquering Son.
An Olive Branch adorn'd her dexter hand,
Her sinister a Wreath of Roses: but
The Wreath was slyly lin'd With Nettles, and
The gentle Branch with ireful thorns beset:
For this was She who Peace could teach to fall
To Massacres, and Sweets to flow with Gall.
Her robe of state stream'd full about her feet;
For such they fondly were esteem'd, whilst hid:
But she had neither feet nor legs; a great
And knotty Tail hung sweeping in their stead;
A Tail which she about her round could wind,
And hug and kiss the Sting she ware behind.
The Siren thus, above the Water is
As soft and smooth and clear a Nymph as she:
But her Catastrophe of Monstrousness
Lurks underneath with warey subtilty;
Whilst the most fairly foul contriveth how
To keep the Maid aloft, the fish below.
Whene'r she speaks, a flood of honey flows,
And with her breath a cloud of odours breaks;
Yet in her mouth a crop of poison grows;
Between her lips a brood of adders makes
Its cursed nest; her tounge's a mortal spear,
And all her teeth invenom'd arrows are.
But in her desperate bosom treasur'd lies
The fatal Marrow and the Pith of Hell;
Spight, Tumults, open Wars, Impieties,
Confusions, Desolations. Who can tell
The Monsters of that black Abyss, wherein
Full room is found for all the Sea of Sin.
Her chosen Courtiers waiting round her throne
Were fulfed Peace, and buxom Courtisey,
Freehearted Friendship, mild Compassion,
Neat Complement and golden Flattery,
Nimble Officiousness, large Promises,
Deep Oaths, false Truths, insidious Faithfulness.
Sweet angel-faced things, restored Laws,
Reform'd religion, rescu'd Liberty;
For such the Vulgars' silly faith, which knows
Not what a Vizzard means, presumes they be;
Admiring for celestial Spirits of Light
The masked furies of infernal Night.
But at her back the Crew whom most she tenders
Behind a Vail's dissimulation lies;
Scoffs, Calumnies, Excise, Assessments, Plunders,
Ingagements, Covenants, Pulpit villanies,
Thanksgivings, Fasts, Law-ruining Exigences,
Sacred Rebellions, Murdering of Princes.
Beyond which vail, an iron Portal led
Into a Dungeon stuff'd with fire and smoke;
A Dungeon horribly replenished
With all Damnation's furniture, whose look
Tortur'd with endless fright those Pris'ners which
Lay in that Jail of everburning Pitch.
Grief liv'd in triumph there, and all the Pains
Profest excess: the Language of the Den
Was Sighs, and Groans, and noise of tumbled Chains,
Cries, yellings, Curses, Blasphemies of Men
And God himself, eternal Seizing by
The Souls which Vengeance doomed there to fry.
On Cain's most guilty brow there might you read
A deeper Mark than God upon it set,
His innocent Brother's Blood, which scalt and fed
Upon its seat: his breast this made him beat,
And now with truer reason cry, My Pain
Is greater than my Patience can sustain.
No longer now he dreaded to be slain,
But wish'd to meet another Lamech who
Might rid him of this dying Life: in vain
He gnash'd his teeth; in vain he curs'd his Woe,
And Him who chain'd him in it; for his Grief
Sunk now below the region of Relief.
That Millstone which his cruel brains had grown'd,
Abimelech there counteth soft and light:
For now a Stone more ponderous he found
Squeazing his Soul with full Damnation's Weight;
That Stone he made his desperate altar, when
To's Pride he sacrific'd his Bretheren.
There Delilah lay tearing off her Hair
To think of whose her traiterous sheers had clipp'd;
The twisted Withes and Ropes less sturdy were
Than those her falsehood now on her had heap'd:
Those Chains, which bound her to her endless rack
Stronger than Samson's sinewy arms could break.
There lay fierce Joab, with his woful hand
Clap'd on his fift Rib: for th' insidious Wound
He thought he seal'd so sure on Abner, and
On Amasa, did on himself rebound!
Just David's Will, and Solomon's Command
This Legacy gave him by Benaia's hand.
Falsehearted Rechab, and Baanah there
With everlasting horror seem'd to see
The Trunk of righteous Ishbosheth, and hear
His dying Groans upbraid their Treachery,
Gladly would they, to buy off this their pain,
Give both their heads that his were on again.
There hung rebellious Absolom by his Head
Not on an Oak, but on a fiery Tree,
Whose boughs of Torture round about him spread,
And shadow'd him With flaming Misery:
Three Darts stuck in his double Heart, arid made
Way for the stinging Worm therein to feed.
His Tongue its popular blandishments forgot,
By which it stole the Vulgars' loyalty,
And nothing now but ugly Curses spit:
Whence his religious Sire, whose piercing eye
Descry'd his Doom, tun'd by no other key
His Lamentation, but Extremity.
There Ziba pour'd deep detestations on
That fawning Lie, which help'd his fraud to gain
Upright Mephibosheth's Possession,
From which he reap'd this crop of endless Pain.
There Shimei rail'd on his own Railing, who
Had heap'd his curses on his Sovereign's Woe.
The Pride of ready Wit, Ahitophel
With all his Plots about his halter wound,
Hung sadly there: and now the Oracle
No Anwsers gave, but hideously profound
Yellings and roars, Which plain confession made
That he himself more than his King betray'd.
There Zimri howl'd to think how he was more
With Treason drunk, than Elah was With Wine;
And now much fiercelyer flaming tortures bore,
Than when his Palace all on fire did shine.
There Shallum felt himself for ever by
The wounds which murder'd Zachariah, die.
There in their torn bemangled Flesh, and in
Their broken bones, the Median Peers beheld
Their Treason's recompence; and found this Den
More full of Terror, and more surely seal'd,
Than that in which their cursed Fraudulence
Had plunged blessed Daniel's Innocence.
These and ten thousand more liv'd dying there;
For deep and large the woful Dungeon was,
And for their latest Heirs had room to spare;
Choise room for those to whom the loftiest place
Of most profound Damnation was due,
The Christian-seeming Trayterous-being Crew.
That Crew, whose shameless zeal pretends to set
Christ on his throne, by pulling down his House:
Who vow to make their Princes glorious, yet
With monstrous triumph in their blood carrouse.
That Crew, whose Pride and Lust's their only Reason;
Whose highest Sanctity deep-rayed Treason.
That Crew, whose several Stalls were ready built
Of burning brass, and all in order placed
(According to the merit of their Guilt)
About a Throne, whose canopy was graced,
With flames of sovereign Dreadfulness, a Throne
Wide gaping for Perdition's venturous Son.
For 'twas establisb'd for prodigious Him
Whom Jesus would have crowned King above;
But Judas in an heav'nly Diadem
Would nothing find which might oblige his love;
With desperate impudence resolv'd was He
To earn his torment's Principality.
For hither now hell's anxious Monarch came,
As to the Den of Avarice before;
When she beheld her dreadful Lord, the Dame
Leap'd from her chair, and met him at the door,
Where on her face, she humbly asked what
Occasion brought his Highness to her grot.
His red hot iron sceptre Satan here
Reach'd forth for her to kiss in sign of peace:
Then smiling on her answering face, Most dear
Of all my Feinds, said he, my business is
The weightyest that my Spight e'r undertook,
Which if it fails, this Sceptre must be broke.
Thou knowst time was when I and thou, did make
A brave Adventure in the face of Heav'n,
When at our Courage all the spheres did quake.
And God was to his utmost thunder driven;
His Throne stood trembling at our rival Power,
And had our foot not slipp'd, all had been our.
But that Mishap's too sleight and weak to break
The strength of our immortal Pride; forbid
It all my Hell, that Belzebub should make
Truce with that Tyrant who disherited
Him of his starry Kingdom: No; I may
Perchance be beaten, but will ne'r obey.
I am resolv'd to find Him work as long
As He, and his Eternity can last;
My Spirit never must forget that wrong
Which me into this hateful Dungeon cast:
Nor need I fear Him now, since I can be
But still in Hell, should He still conquer me.
Full well I know his spight: had any Place
Been worse than this, he would have damn'd Us thither:
Yet He, forsooth, must be the God of grace,
Of Pity, and of Tenderness the Father:
And silly Men believe him too; but We
More wit have bought than so befool'd to be.
For be he what he will to Men; to Us
He is a sworn and everlasting Foe.
And is't not just, He who maligns Us thus,
Should find that Devils are immortal too?
I would not wrong Him; yet mine own must I
Not clip, to save intire his Majesty.
My noble Will He never yet subdued,
And I am now too old to learn to bow:
Upon my youth his utmost strength He shewed,
Yet tender though I was, himself doth know
Ev'n then I yielded not: And shall this fist
Now brawny grown, the Tyrant not resist?
It must and shall: my Confidence beats high;
For now on evener ground our fight shall be.
He from steep slippery heav'n is come; and my
Footing on earth as sure as His will be.
Besides, should we miscarry, We are there
Nearer our hell, and no deep fall can fear.
Yet that we may unlucky Chance defy,
Wise Treason must direct our Project's way:
Lend thou thine aid, and let th' iniquity
Of Fate or Fortune, if it can, say nay.
How oft when Rams in vain have push'd the Wall,
Have cunning Underminings made it fall:
It can be no dishonor now, since He
Hath in the vile hypocrisy of Dust
And Ashes hid his heav'nly Majesty,
For Belzebub on Fraud to build his trust.
'Tis true, I scorn to trace his steps; yet may
I justly Him in his own Coin repay.
Come let's away: with hate to Christ I burn
More than with all my kingdom's flames. I swear
By my bright Mother, th' undefiled Morn
(A fairer Virgin than the Carpenter
Chose when he hew'd out Him;) by this my Crown,
And Horns, I'l win his blood, or lose mine own.
The cursed Souls within all heard him swear,
And clapp'd with damned joy their flaming pawes,
Hoping some fresh Companions destin'd were
To share in pangs with them: Hell op'd its jaws;
Earth split into a mighty gap; and He
Ascended with his Handmaid Treachery.
Then having melted both himself, and Her
Into the next Wind's pliant lap he met,
He sliely flew to Juda's bosom; where
In with his breath he unperceived shot.
Thus other Plagues infused in the air
With pois'nous stealth down to the Heart repair.
As when a Tyrant hath usurp'd the Crowd.
The Arms and Ensigns of the rightful Heirs
He blurs, and tears, and pulls their Statues down,
And in their rooms his own with triumph rears;
Leaving no Sign to make the People dream
Of any Sovereign extant now but him:
So Satan acts his spight in Juda's breast;
All characters which were ingraven there
Of his leidge Lord and only Master Christ,
His mighty Miracles, his Love, his fear,
His heav'nly Life and doctrine, he defaces,
And every line of Piety erases.
Then by the help of those Allies, which He
Had there confederated (Avarice
The Mother of all Mischiefs, Treachery
The dextrous Midwife,) he erecteth his
Black standard in th' Apostate's wretched heart,
And thence his Conquest spreads to every Part.
For Judas now breaths nothing else but Hell,
Whose fumes are tumbling all about his brain;
With plots of spight and rage his fancies swell,
And with contrivances of cursed Gain.
No fury ever hatch'd such thoughts as He,
Nor brought forth such portentuous Villainy.
O Treachery how desperately blind
And foolish is thy piercing Policy,
Which trembles not an headlong way to find
How to betray its own Felicity;
Which ventures to project Destruction for
The Universe's only Saviour!
O Avarice, how flat Idolatry
Is thine, who canst vile rusty Wealth prefer
Before the King of heav'nly Majesty
Whose beams than all thy Gold more golden are
Who canst adore what Cankers feed on, and
Scorn Him on whom bright Cherubim attend!
Judas, the Slave of Gain, resolves to sell
His most inestimable Lord; though He
And He alone, his thirsty soul could fill
With all the Riches of Eternity.
But Avarice his heart doth so bewitch
That Heav'n he'l sell, and only to be rich.
His Chapmen are the Priests, for they who had
Betray'd God's sacred House to Merchandise,
Will make no scruple to extend their trade,
And count God saleable: but in the price
They thrifty are, and beat their market low;
But Thirty silver pieces they'l bestow.
They little think their Heirs in time to come
Will scorn this sneaking Copy, and find reason
With lusty generousness to make their Sum
Suit with the brave Magnificence of Treason
When for a King (how much less precious?) they
Two hundred thousand Pounds will freely pay.
Fy sordid Caiaphas, and Annas fy!
Your Law cries shame of this unworthy Rate;
Consult your Books, and see if Equity
Has not the meanest Man esteemed at
Full fifty Shekels: and will noble you
For God and Man no more than thus allow!
His Worth has Jesu's Godhead lower sunk
Than is the vilest Wight's that breaths your air?
Bid but like Chapmen; of your credits think
And by the precious Ware your Offer square.
O could you purchase Him aright, the Prize
Would make you rich in all felicities.
But thou improvident Judas, since thou art
Resolved Him to sell whose value is
Beyond the power of Arithmetick Art
To reckon up, proportion but thy Price
In some more near degree: let thy
Demand brake Buyers what they purchase understand.
Ask all the gold that rolls on Indus's shore,
Ask all the treasures of the Eastern Main,
Ask all the Earth's yet undiscovered Ore,
Ask all the Pearls and Gems where Lustres reign
Ask Herod's checker, ask the Highpriest's Crown,
Ask Cesar's mighty scepter and his throne.
Ask all the silver of the glistering Stars
Ask all the gold that flames in Titan's eyes,
Ask all the Jewels of Aurora's Tears
Ask all the Smiles and Beauties of the Skies,
Ask Paradise, ask whatsoever can
Or cannot given be by God or Man.
Trade not with these, the worst of Chapmen, who
So fouly under-rate thy Merchandise
To John, to Andrew, or to Peter go,
Who knowing 'tis past knowledge, know the price
Of their invaluable Lord and see
What for their Live's best Life they'l profer Thee.
Try what the Virgin-mother will bestow
For Whom she values dearer than her heart
Proclaim thy Market unto Heav'n, and know,
Whither wise Seraphs will not gladly part
With more than thirty silver pieces for
Him, whom with prostrate faces they adore.
Or have but patience to see what We,
Not for his own, but for thy Life will give
And at what charge his Charity will be
Thee from that killing Bargain to reprieve.
Suspect not that his Poverty is poor
Thou keepst his Bag, but keepst not all his store.
Alas, though every Sin be Blindness, yet
Hell knows no Crime so full of pitch as this,
Nor doth the Sun of human Reason set
In any Night so black as Avarice:
Darkness ne'r sate so thick on Egypt's brow
As on the mental eyes of Judas now.
Urge him no more with Sense and Reason,
He Against those tides is stifly set to row
For since no God but Money he can see,
He nothing sees at all, and cares not how
He makes his desperate Bargain, so he may
Have but this wretched Sum in ready Pay.
Thus Jesu's Wisdom had contriv'd to shew
The mighty patience of his Goodness; who
Though from Heav'n's Glory his bright self he threw
Into the arms of dust and shame, that so
Man's cursed Seed he might redeem to Bliss
Sold by ungrateful Man's perverseness is.
And now the chink of his adored Coin,
Sounds in his Purse, the Traitor hasts to be
As good's his wicked word, and is in pain
Till forth he brings his hired Treachery.
He thinks it an unworthy odious crime,
To cheat the Priests, who thus had trusted him.
(O Enigmatick Wickedness! that He
To whom his Heav'nly Lord's all-precious Love
Could seem no bond of Faithfulness, should be
By this most vile obligement bound, and prove
So faithful to his foes! this, Psyche, this
A knotty riddle to thy Phylax is.
So strange a thing is Man's mysterious Heart,
No Angel's Eye can through its secrets run:
To sound this bottom is the sovereign Art
And Privilege of God himself alone:
A certain proof that his sole fingers did
Write those dark Lines, which only He can read.
The Caytiff therefore, loth his plot should fail
And Treason's matchless credit be prevented;
Begg'd some assistance, that he might assail
Omnipotence the surer, and indented
To have an armed Guard: the Priests were glad
To see the Man so desperately mad.
A Band they had, and of commanded Men
Whose Hearts were iron, and whose Foreheads brass:
No Boars or Tigres ever could outrun
Their fury, when their aim at mischief was:
Right Sovereign were these Monsters, had it not
Been for their Master's and Iscariot.
With churlish Clubs were some appointed, some
With keen and thirsty Swords, but all with Spight.
In front of whom new Captain Judas came.
Resolv'd to slay, but yet afraid to fight:
For Cowardise in Treason's essence rests,
Which fraud or number more than Valor trusts.
The Ensigns of this Band of Night-birds were
Suspicious Lanthorns, and bold Torches, which
With glaring beams awak'd the Midnight Air,
Whose groping silent shades startled by such
Unseasonable Apparitions, fled
Behind the Hills and Trees to hide their head.
Thus having marched over Cedron, they
To yonder Garden came, too sweet a place
To be this Mischief's scene; but yet his Prey
Th' insidious Serpent ventured to chase
In sweetest Eden; and Iscanot, who
His footsteps traced, hither chose to go.
Thy sacred Lord with his Disciples, there
Retired was, and now began to pray:
When lo, a Spectacle of direr fear
March'd full against his single face, than They
Whose armed spight approach to sacrifice
His Patience to contempts and cruelties.
A black and labouring Cloud hung o'r his Head,
In which his Father veil'd his gracious Eyes;
Yet through that pitch his dreadful Arm he spread,
And reach'd it down to Earth: from angry Skies
The Lightning never with such terror broke,
Nor Thunder's trump the Rocks and Mountains shook.
For in his Hand a mighty Cup he held,
In which he made all Horrors boil and flame:
Unto the brim's vast circle it was fill'd
With all the World's excrementitious stream,
Which Vengeance kindling with her fiery breath
Had turn'd into the Ocean of Death.
That Universal Taint whose rankling flood
From Adam's veins through all his Race had run,
Met in this Sink, and joyned with the Brood
Of every singular Transgression:
Besides, about the Cup each several Pang,
Which every several Sin deserv'd, was hung.
Had now the sublimated Soul of Gall
Had all the Deaths which live in Thessaly,
Had every Cockatrice's egg, had all
The maws of Dragons, had the Tyranny
Of Spight her self, or had the odious flood
Of Anna's, Caiaphas's, Iscariot's Blood.
Had Styx, had Phlegeton, had all that Wits
Have fain'd, and all that Justice made in Hell,
Had all the flames which Etna's furnace spits
Had all the Stinks which in the Dead Sea dwell,
Had all the Poisons of each Serpent's tongue
Which Lybia frights, into the Cup been wrung.
The Draught had Nectar been compar'd to this:
Yet loe the monstrous Mixture to the lip
Of Sweetnesse's own Lord presented is.
O Psyche, how shall he digest this Cup,
Which were the Sons of Adam forc'd to drink,
The World would drowned be in its own Sink?
But well He knew the Hand which lov'd his Cheeks
When he in Bliss's bosom made his nest;
And though so strange an Offer now it makes,
'Tis still the same: and how can he resist
What his dear Father tenders him, although
The Cup with Horror's own heartblood do's flow!
Were it as wide and deep and full again,
This Thought alone commands it to be sweet;
And till he drink its Pangs he is in pain,
So valiant's his Obedience, and so great
His Love to Man, who else must needs have quafft
This dismal Boul, and perish'd in the Draught.
But then this Thought was justled by another,
For He himself was passive flesh and Blood:
Nature (whose earnest voice who e'r could smother?)
Up in her own defence right strongly stood;
For who can willingly be headlong hurl'd
Into that Gulf which would devour the World?
O how He struggled in this mighty strait,
Being himself with his brave self to fight!
Had all the Center's most compacted Weight
Pitch'd on his heart, the burden had been light,
And easy unto that which squeazed He
Endur'd in this heroick Agony.
In vain should I contend to represent
What no Comparison's excess can reach;
Unknown, unknown the Sorrows were which spent
Their fury on his Patience, and such
As none but He himself could measure, who
Resolv'd to grapple with the Soul of Woe.
The Contestation grew so hot within
That all his bosom fell on flaming fire;
And from that melting furnace, through his skin
Thick Proofs of monstrous Fervor did transpire;
For at the mouth of every labouring pore
Not watery Sweat, but Blood broke ope its door.
O matchless Combat! whose mysterious power
Without the edge of sword, or point of dart
Could cloth Him round with lamentable gore,
And wound him from within; whilst every Part
Rack'd and transfixed with intestine strains,
In streams of purple tears bewail'd its pains.
Down to the Ground this sweating Torrent pour'd,
From off its Face to wash the barren Curse;
Whilst moated in his melted self, thy Lord
The noble fight did freshly reinforce:
His Mortal Passion three stout Onsets gave
To his Immortal Piety and Love.
Father, he cry'd, by that thy tender Name,
Thy most afflicted Son commiserate:
If Mercy's wisdom any way can frame
How to reprieve me from this dismal fate;
O let thine Hand, which brings this Cup to me,
Remove, with it, my Woe's extremity.
But strait by most athletick bravery
Mounting above himself, he noblyer cries,
Although all Bitterness triumphant be
In this one Cup, it must and shall suffice
That from thy Hand it comes: thy sovereign Will
And not mine own, shall be my Pleasure still.
Thus when his adamantine Fate doth call
The Phenix to his grave; though Life's strong plea
Urges his stay, yet to his Funeral
He flies with joyful grief; where generously
Blowing the fire with's wings' applauding breath,
To hatch his End he broods his flaming Death.
Thus reverend Abraham when his God's Command
Sent him to bath his sword in Isaac's blood,
Divided was in his own bowels, and
With his stout self in competition stood;
Till valourous Piety her powers strain'd,
And th' arduous Laurel of self-conquest gain'd.
But when thy mighty Lord atchieved had
This triple Conquest: Judas and his Rout
Like hungry bears into the Garden made,
And for their booty rang'd and rov'd about;
Not knowing He as ready was to be
Betray'd, as they to act their Treachery.
For like a known victorious Champion, who
Before his other Foes hath conquer'd Fear,
He meets their Rage; demanding, whom with so
Untimely strange a chase they hunted there.
Them, and their Spight's design ful well he knew,
Yet this brave Challenge in their face he threw.
Jesus of Nazareth we seek, said they.
Alas, blind Souls, He came to seek out you,
And lead you safely in the King's high way
Up to his Realm above, that on your brow
The Crown of Bliss might ever shine: but ye
In nothing would be found but Treachery.
Nor They, nor his own Judas, Psyche, knew
Thy Spouse's face; which as it flam'd before
With royal beauty, so was clouded now
And smear'd in's bloody Agonistik Gore.
Thus like some dusky Meteor Phebus shows
When an Eclipse has quench'd his glittering brows.
But He, who would not be unknown to those
Who came to suck what blood was left behind;
(That blood which burned in his veins, till loose
It got, and flowed like his liberal Mind,)
Revests his Look with graceful Majesty,
And champion-like professes, I am He.
If ever thou hast seen what killing Dread
Base-hearted Traitors doth arrest, when by
Their injur'd Sovereign discovered
Their naked Treason feels his awful Eye
Treble this fright, and then compute what fear
Shot through the Souls of these vile Caytiffs here.
A stream of horror drove them trembling back
And overwhelm'd them flat upon the ground;
Deep in the Gulph of which dismaying wrack
Their shivering spirits had been for ever drown'd,
Had He to Mercy's shore not snatch'd out them,
The Tempest of whose fury storm'd at Him.
O how will they endure his radiant Eyes,
Which all this World on flaming fire shall set;
When He in triumph sweeping through the skies
Shall hither come, and mounted on his great
Tribunal, once again cry, I am He;
No more the Prey, but Judge of Treachery.
When they no Lantern's, nor no Torch's light,
Nor Judas's conduct any more shall need;
But by Our Trumpet's Death-awakening fright
Be summon'd from their dust, and hurried
Up to the Bar of Heav'n's all-dooming Son
Whom then they would not find, but cannot shun.
But Bridling now this guilt-appalling splendor,
And cov'nanting, that his Disciples may
Safely retreat, He condescends to render
Himself to his unworthy foes, who lay
Quaking before him, and had quite forgot
Their own fell envy, and the Highpriest Plot.
But feeling Life afresh their Bosoms beat,
And seeing Jesus upon yielding, (since
For all his braving flash, he stoop'd to Treat,)
They heartned up their frighted impudence,
And feared not to hope, that they might now
Safely as furious as their wishes grow.
For as a Serpent brus'd and foil'd, if she
Spies any ways to reinforce her fight,
Her crest and looks she rears, and venturously
Advanceth troth her wrath and bane to spit:
So started up these Elves, and cheer'd their head
(And this Iscariot was) to do the Deed.
When lo, strange He, forgetful of the Fall,
From which he rose but now, and fearing not
The hazard of a greater, muster'd all
His Impudence's power; and to get
The fame of second Lucifer, led up
Against the Lord of Hosts his desperate Troop.
Yet golden was the Arrow that he shot,
Burnish'd with fair and complemental grace
Though in as mortal venom dipp'd as that
Which slew Eve's Heart, when she saluted was
By Fair-tongu'd Hell, and by the Tempter driven
With courteous treason from her Earthly Heaven.
Hail, Master, was the Word: What Ear could now
Disrelish such a sugar'd Noise as this!
Can discord's killing-jars be taught to grow
Upon a bed of Musick? Master is
The phrase of service; Hail of Love; yet He
Could make this sweet salute insidious be.
And when his faithless Tongue her part had done,
His Lips succeeded in the Treachery
With flattering-bloody malice venturing on
The very face of highest Majesty;
For, that his cursed Project might not miss,
He seal'd it on his Master with a Kiss.
O Wit of Treason! which abuseth thus
The Paranymph of gentlest Courtesy
Into the Bawd of deepest Barbarousness!
Monstrous Iscariot how dost thou by thy
Inhumane Kindness, both a Traitor prove
Of Love's great Master, and the Pledge of Love.
Is not a Kiss the soft and yielding Sign
Which claps the Bargain of Affection up:
The sweetly-joyous Marriage between:
The tenderest Pair of Lovers, Lip and Lip:
The closing Harmony, which when the Tongue
Has done its best, completes the pleasing Song?
Is not a Kiss that Mystick Stamp, which though
It sinks not in, yet deep Impressions leaves:
The smooth Conveyance of the Soul, which through
The closed Mouth her thrilling self derives:
Th' Epitomy of genuine Salutation,
And Modesty's most graceful Copulation?
Is not a Kiss the dearly-sacred Seal
Which cements happy Friends' concording hearts?
Must this betrayed be! Must faithless Hell
Truth's daintyest Soder taint! Must Hatred's Arts
Be clothed in the delicatest Dress
Of courteous Peace and amorous Tenderness!
Must sweet Arabia's beds belch out a Stink
Outpois'ning all the Bane of Thessaly!
Must milky Lilies stain their leaves with Ink!
Thick-lin'd with Thorns must Buds of Roses be!
Must Harshness lurk in down! Must Honey flow
With Gall! Must summer Gales bring Ice and Snow!
O what will Treason not presume to do,
Which more than all these strange Mutations makes
In this one venturous Fact of Judas; who
By Love's delicious Tye all Friendship breaks;
Who biteth with his Lips, not with his Teeth
And plotts to Kiss his dearest Lord to death.
Who teacheth all Succeeding Traitors how
To mask with burnish'd Gold that rankling Brass
Of Impudence, which arms their sullen brow;
To tip Rebellion with meek Lies; to grace
Their arrogant Treaties with submissive Words
Whilst at their Sovereign's heart they aim their swords.
But though Iscariot his own Love betrays,
His Lord's triumph's beyond all Treachery,
Resolv'd against the Traitor's Page to raise
An higher counter-work of Lenity:
Though Jesus yields his mighty self, he will
Intire maintain his tender Pity still.
He call'd no Lightning from the Clouds, or from
His dared Eyes to flash on Judas's face,
And stamp upon his Lips that flaming doom
Which due to their blood-thirsty Flattery was:
He charg'd not Earth her dreadful mouth to ope,
And evermore this hellish Kisser's stop.
O no! with heav'nly Tenderness he cry'd,
Friend wherefore art thou come? strange Miracle
Of most affronted Patience, which vy'd
With Spight's Excess! upon the face of Hell
Shall Friend's celestial Name be printed by
Him who beholds and feels its Treachery!
Is foul Ingratitude, rank apostasy,
Right down Rebellion, into Friendship turn'd?
Or rather has not this Disciple by
His curs'd Revolt, a Fury's title earn'd?
And will his wronged Lord by none but this
Sweet Name, revenge his most invenom'd Kiss.
O Psyche, Jesus tortured was to see
His Foe himself down into Tortures throw;
And by this Charm's inviting Suavity
Back into heav'n endeavor'd him to draw:
He knew Love's Cords were strong, and strove by these
To pluck him from his gulf of Miseries.
Why art thou come, thy Friend to undermine?
Why art thou come, with arms against a Lamb?
Why art thou come, to loose what would be thine?
Why art thou come, to gain eternal shame?
What means this madly-mighty Preparation,
For thy Lord's death, and for thine own Damnation?
I in its natural Language will thy Kiss
Kindly interpret, and to it reply
In that dear dialect, if thou to Bliss
At length wilt yield, and in my Nursery
Of heav'nly Plants enjoy thy ready room:
Say then my Friend, O say, Why art thou come?
Thus did the Prince of Sweetness woe and plead:
But this deaf Serpent stopp'd his cursed ear.
The stubborn bolt of thirty Pieces made,
Forbad all holy Charms to enter there,
When lo, the Soldiers, knowing now their Prey,
On Jesus fell, and hurried him away.
The Spouse of Souls was thus, for love of thee
Psyche, and all his other Brides, content
By Judas to be viley sold, and be
Insidiously destroy'd in Compliment.
Shrink not if thy near Friends abuse thy love,
Since God's own Favorite could so faithless prove.
And let the World by this one Copy learn
That hell-bred Boldness is not strange or new;
By which most foster'd favour'd Creatures turn
Fairtongued Enemies, and lead a Crew
Of Miscreants arm'd with bloody-meek Pretences
Against the Powers and Persons of their Princes.
But mighty matter 'tis of Wonder, that
They who have seen what gains Iscariot made,
Are not astonished with horror at
The thought of following his accursed Trade;
But desperately forget what Him befel,
Him, their abhorred Usher into Hell.
For when no Mercy could th' Apostate win
To entertain his Pardon, Vengeance made
Just haste to pour her self upon his Sin
Whilst Satan, of her fierce concurrence glad,
His Treason in its proper coin repay'd,
And this Betrayer fatally betray'd.
She to the Garden's grimmest corner, where
Thoughtful disconsolate Night sate thick and black,
Lash'd him aside, and having fitted there
The implements of her infernal Rack,
With studied fury, not his body, but
His captivated Soul on it She put.
For, by a Torch, which glar'd with hellish light,
She to Iscariot's intellectual eyes
Her dismal Self display'd: Excessive fright
Did strait his wretched helpless heart surprize;
Each joint and member quak'd and sweat; and He
Felt in this Garden too his Agony.
He saw dire Belzebub's sulphureous Look
Boiling with swarthy fire; his Horns he saw
High mounted on his head, which as he shook
His Hair's intangled Snakes their knots did knew:
He saw his adamantine Nails and Paws,
His steely Teeth, his brazen gaping Jaws.
He saw the Tempest of his flaming breath
Which gloomy volumes spew'd of stinking smoke:
He saw the windows of eternal Death
Flung open in his staring Eyes, whose stroke
Slew him alive: he saw his iron Mace,
His burning Feet, and his enraged Pace:
He saw his forked Tail in triumph thrown
Upon his shoulder, and his ireful Brow
With cruel scorn contracted in a frown:
Rampant Implacability he saw
In every gesture, and too plainly read
The full Description of Immortal Dread.
Profoundly learn'd that Lesson made him in
The mighty Volumes of his own Distress:
The more he look'd, the more in every line
He found himself so lost, that no Redress
Could glimmer in his damped Hopes, or cheer
His woful Desolation's hemisphere.
When lo, stern Lucifer threw out his hand,
And by her throat his guilty Conscience took;
And now, he cry'd, I'l make thee understand
What thou hast chose, and what thou hast forsook:
Mark well this dainty Pair of Damsels, which
Could from thy God and Heav'n thy Love bewitch.
Which said, he op'd to his astonish'd view
The face of his adored Avarice,
And Treachery; not in their former hue
Of borrowed smiles and outside comelyness,
But in their naked native filth: and then
Shaking his Horns and Paws, he thus went on:
Maddest of Fools, how many Hells dost thou
Deserve, who with such Hags couldst fall in love,
When Jesus woo'd thy heart? these Hags, which now
Th' hast paid so dearly for, must, doubtless prove
Sweet Brides, and preciously adorn thy Bed
Which in the bottom of my Realm is spred.
If they have any feature, joint, or lim
Which is not horrid; may my Scepter break,
And may my royal Tongue no more blaspheme.
For once I tell thee true, and thou mayst take
The Devil's word, in monstrous ugliness
I know no Furies who thy Wives surpass.
And was thy Lord so vile a Thing, that He
Might not with These in competition stand!
Were thy unthankful Eyes e'r grac'd to see
A face so rich in purest Beauties, and
Majestick Graces, as in His did shine,
Making Humanity appear Divine?
249. Most stupid Sot! how oft didst thou behold
Divinity from his great Hand break out!
How oft has his Omnipotence control'd,
And put my stoutest Legions to rout!
Yet still with desperate devotion thou
(And here he beat the Soul,) to Me wouldst bow.
Nay never houl; 'tis but the Earnest, this
Of what's to come: Thou needs wouldst bow to Me,
Of whom that Christ the well-known Conqueror is:
He threw me down from heav'n's Sublimity
Into that Pit of Pangs, where I am now
The damned Sovereign of such as Thou.
Hadst not as good have bow'd to mightier Him,
Whose Yoke thou wouldst have tighter found than mine?
I tell thee Judas, I am but a grim
And rugged Lord; what Prizes once I win,
I grasp for ever, and shall make them fry
In Torment's bottomless extremity.
And can my Hell, and everlasting Spight,
Put on the looks of such prevailing Worth
As Jesu's value to outshine! Can Night
Day's lustre dazel! brings Damnation forth
Such strong Temptations? can eternal Bliss
Not woe and win as potently as this!
Sure Hell and Death are gallant Things, and I
Must not allow thee them, until thou hast
In all the storms of Hate and Infamy
Which Salem, or the World can raise, been tost.
This Preface shall for that eternal Smart
Which gapes and longs for thee, prepare thine heart.
Go then, the Age's Blot and Monster, go
Let every Mouth spit on thy hated head;
Let every Tongue thy way with Curses strong;
Let every Hand be arm'd to strike thee dead;
Let every Eye abhor thy baleful sight;
Let all the World revenge thy traiterous Spight.
Let every mad Dog bark and snarl at thy
More currish Look; Let every Night-raven groan
Thy funeral knell; Let every Scritch-owl's Cry
Teach thee to tune Death's Ejulation;
Let every direful Mandrake's killing Shriek,
Thy ears, thy comforts, and thy heart-strings break.
Let Heav'n frown on thee, and the starry Host
Pour on thy soul their angryest influence, who
Their and thine own great Lord betrayed hast;
In one vast bolt let all God's Thunders now
Conjoin their Wrath to tear obdurate Thee
Who by no Mercy mollify'd wouldst be.
That Stroke will ram thee down into thy Death,
Thy dear-earn'd Death of never-dying Pain;
Where melted by my flaming eyes and breath,
Thy thirty silver pieces I will drain
Into thy heart; that thou mayst shriek and roar
Whilst there they burn and boil for evermore.
This said; th' insulting Prince of Tyranny
A while withdrew, and rested confident
To see Maturity get wings, and fly
To overtake his Plot: yet e'r he went,
Seven times he thresh'd the Conscience with the flail
Of his enormous poison-pointed tail.
As when the Deluge in the youth of Time
Broke out upon the World, and with a Sea
Of universal Wo surpriz'd the Crime
Which dar'd just Vengeance's Severity;
Those bold Delinquents saw their opened graves
In Desperation first, then in the Waves:
So Judas taken in this mighty flood
Of deepest Anguish, had no power of thinking
Which way to scape, or that his Saviour's Blood
Might drown that Sea in which he now was sinking.
O no! the thought of that pure Blood alone
Pour'd on his face Guilt's blushing Ocean.
Since more in Money he his Trust, than in
His God had put; he dares not harbour hopes
That Mercy now could reach his heightned Sin:
A gap by fear to Impudence he opes;
For by this wretched Dread of Goodness he
Gives flat defiance to its Lenity.
Revenge he sees full aiming at his head,
He sees his Treason flashing in his face,
He sees the World's just Anger marshalled
Against his odious Crime; hee sees the place
Deep in the heart of Hell, where damned He
Designed is for evermore to be.
With that, his cloths, his hair, his flesh he tore,
He roar'd, he rav'd, and thus to Cursing fell:
May that unhappy Day be read no more
In any Calendars but those of Hell:
Which to this baleful Life did me betray,
A Life to living Death the dying way.
Curs'd be my Father, who a Brat begot
The Heir to nothing but to Hate and Woe:
And cursed be my Mother's womb, whose hot
Pleasures at my Conception, only to
Those hotter Pains prepar'd the path for me
Who now in tare's deep womb conceiv'd must be.
Curs'd be those Paps, which nourish'd me, when my
Young Innocence might happily, have dy'd:
Curs'd be my tender Nurse, who feared by
Sure Poison's courtesy, in death to hide
Me from this deadlyer Night: and cursed be
All sicknesses which would not murther me.
Curs'd be this Hand, which often ready had
A Knife, and yet forbore my throat to cut:
Curs'd be these feet, which often travelled
Over the brows of Precipices, yet
Would never stumble, that I might have fell
Then but to Earth, who tumble now to Hell.
Curs'd be the Day, which first acquainted me
With Jesus, and my ominous Name inroll'd
Amongst his blessed Chaplains; Cursed be
That Thirst of Wealth, by which my self I sold
More sadly than my Master; Curs'd be all
The gravely-wicked Chapmen, and the Sale.
Curs'd be this Garden; upon every bed
May fatal Hemlock, Wolfbane, Poppy grow;
May Adders, Basilisks, and Vipers feed
Their poison here; on every Tree and Bough
May winged Dragons perch, that something may
Resemble Judas here another day.
Another Day! O no; may thickest Night
Upon this Scene of Treason ever dwell;
That neither Sun nor Star may reach their light
More unto this, than to the other Hell.
The bloody beams of Ghosts and fiends will glare
With fittest lustre in this guilty Sphere.
But may the deepest of all Execrations
On you my Thirty Silver Torments fall:
What Vengeance shall requite those sweet Temptations
Which thus have drown'd me in a Sea of Gall?
Can I no way contrive, base paltry Clay,
How I may you, as you did me, betray?
Down shall I hurry you with me to Hell,
And hold you fast amidst my endless flames;
Or kick you back into your former cell,
The High-priest's Bag? this, this to Judas seems
The blacker and the crueler Pit; and I
Thither again will damn you instantly.
This said: like that tormented Man in whose
Wild bosom reign'd a Legion of fiends,
Himself to Salem in mad haste he throws,
Where to the Temple he his passage rends;
Not doubting but his Chapman he should find
Against their God in his own House combin'd.
He found them there, and in among them ran,
Flinging about his hand, his head, his eyes;
And having strein'd his Ejulation
To Horror's tune; my Crime, my Crime, he cries,
Burns in my tortured breast, and domineers
Too fiercely to be quenched by my tears.
No Expiation that Altar knows
Which for my monstrous Guilt can satisfy:
My Master's blood in such vast torrents flows
On my unpardonable Soul, that I
Am drown'd for ever in my deep Offence,
Being condemned by his Innocence.
Take, take your Trash; and take my Curse with it
Hell's gulf devour your Souls. Here first on Them,
Then on his Silver pieces having spit,
He threw them at their hated heads; and from
The Temple in wild indignation flung,
Raving and cursing as he ran along.
For all the way he thought he strugled through
An army of reviling Detestations:
Over his head his arms this made him throw
To shield it from his own Imaginations:
Through which from heav'n and earth such arrows flew
As wounded him at every step anew.
For Melancholy, dark as is the Pitch,
Which on Avernus's throat so thick doth grow,
Chok'd every glimpse of Sense and Reason which
Offer'd to dawn in's bosom's orb, and show
Him by what torturing Mistakes he had
Himself unto himself a Tyrant made.
Dive Melancholy; which, (though sober she
Whilst young and governable, gains the name
Of Wisdom's Handmaid,) when Maturity
Strengthens her gloomy poison, turns her tame
Hypocrisy to headlong Madness, and
All other Feinds in Fury doth transcend.
Thus came he to a silent secret place
Without the Town, yet could not think it so;
But fancied still that all the City was
Hot in the chase of Him his Saviour's Foe.
Each bird or fly that moved, made him start;
Each Wind that puffed, blew quite through his heart.
His Eyes distracted were, 'twixt looking up
For fear least Heav'n should fall upon his head;
And down, least Earth her dreadful mouth should ope
And snatch him to his grave e'r he were dead:
Till with this Terror tir'd, his breast he stroke.
And into right-down Desperation broke.
Adieu all Hopes, he cry'd, and Fears adieu
Come Vengeance come, my heart is ready here.
Back to the Priests, I see, in vain, I threw
that Money, whose sad burden still I bear
Still close and heavy sticks its Rust upon
My gnawed Soul; and I must be undone.
If Heav'n be just, what means its Wrath's delay,
Now it beholds my most-deserving head
Am I not Judas! did not I betray
Its only Son? Is not my Conscience red
With Jesu's spotless Blood? and yet can I
Endured be to live, when He must die!
At least great Satan do not thou deny
Thy Servant Pay for that grand Work, which he
Hath compassed with matchless Villany,
In high obedience to thy Feinds and thee.
What Soul e'r dared more than I have done.
Or earn'd a gallanter Damnation?
Didst thou not nobly promise me but now
The dearest Torments of thy deepest Jail?
Deceive me not again: if ever thou
Thy Credit tendredst, venture not to fail
Thy trusty Judas; or ne'r hope to see
Man serve thee more; if thou rewardst not Me.
Come then, burn up these Lips which learn'd of thee
Their killing Kiss; Dash out these Brains which thou
Taughtst how to plot, what now I dread to see;
This Carkase in a thousand pieces throw,
And empty out on every cursed Part
The total rage of thy infernal Smart.
Take this despairing Soul, and let it be
The Prey of thy immortal Furies: 'tis
No groundless challenge; that, as due to me
I claim the utmost of thy Spight; unless
Thy Debt's infinitude thou hast forgot;
Jesus and Heav'n into thine hands I put.
Jesus and Heav'n; whom I must ever hate,
As having made them my eternal foes:
O how I long to be in that Free State
Where generous Blasphemy no bridle knows;
Where I may Rage as loud's Heav'n's Thunders roar,
And, being cursed, curse for evermore.
Here Fury's foaming Tide quite stopp'd his throat:
Yet still he star'd, and struggled with his Grief;
Still off he tore his hair, his breast he smote,
And through Self-tortures hunted for Relief:
His Tongue he bit because it would not speak,
And stamp'd the Earth which would not open break.
He hideously grinn'd and gnash'd his teeth,
With most importunate frenzy stung, to find
The cruel dalliance of his wooed Death
Which spar'd his Body whilst it slew his Mind:
His sides he griped, and was mad to feel
Hell in himself who long'd to be in Hell.
But as the sullen Fat, and Pitch, and Hair
By Daniel cast into the Dragon's, throat,
Burned, and roar'd and rag'd, and tumbled there
More furiously than in the boiling Pot;
Till with importunate swelling torments they
Quite through his monstrous belly burst their way.
So flam'd this Lump of Horror and Despair
In Judas's bosom, till so strong it grew
That all his stretch'd and racked Entrails were
Conquer'd with tortures, and in sunder flew:
His Body split, and through that cruel wound
Pour'd his more barbarous bowels on the ground.
Thus from this Prison his black Spirit ran
Into as black a Jail, prepair'd for it
Full in the center of Damnation;
Where now it raves in chains at Satan's feet:
Enforc'd the pois'nous flames he spews, to drink.
O that all Traitors would of Judas think!
[1702; Grosart (1880) 1:212-31]