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165

E'en in recital their portentous crimes,
Surprize and terrify succeeding times;

neque Votis, piare fas habet, gens superstitioni obnoxia, religionibus adversa. Visæ per cælum concurrere acies, rutilantia arma, et subito Nubium igne collucere Templum. Expassæ repente delubri Fores, et audita major humanâ Vox, Excedere deos: simul ingens Motus excedentium. Quæ pauci in Metum trahebant: Pluribus Persuasio inerat, antiquis sacerdotum Literis contineri eo ipso Tempore fore ut valesceret Oriens, Profectique Judæâ Rerum potirentur. Quæ Ambages Vespasianum et Titum prædixerant. Lib. 5. chap. 13. Histor.

“ At that time there were prodigies, which a peo. ple who were superstitious, and not religious, did not think proper to appease by sacrifice or by prayer. Armies were seen to rush together in the air, glittering arms appeared, and the temple shone with a sudden light from Heaven. At once the doors of the temple flew open, and a voice more than human was heard to declare that the gods had left the place; at the same time there was a great motion as of their departing, which affrighted many. More however were persuaded that it was declared by their antient prophets, that at that time the East should grow powerful, and the rulers of Judea ob. tain universal dominion. Which ambiguous oraeles foretold Vespasian and Titus.”

'Twas there (Ah horrid deed!) with hunger wild,
The wretched mother fed upon her child.
For there, with her dishevell'd uncouth hair,
And sullen eye, and madding mind to dare,
Whate’er extravagant, sat blasphemous Despair.

At last, though long with-held by frantic deeds,
The Rorian intrepidity succeeds.
The city, once by Heav'n protected, falls,
And bows her lofty and wide-spreading walls. 175
Through the wide breach impetuous rush her foes,
Like a vast river that its banks o'erthrows.
Cruel and fierce as ev'ning wolves they rage,
Nor can their gen’ral's voice their heat asswage.
It blazes uncontrould, and he in vain

180
Directs them from the temple to abstain ;
For in defiance of his known command,
A soldier throws within a flaming brand.

Line 167 &c. The particulars of this feral wickedness, of which while we read we shudder, are fully described by Josephus. It is mentioned here to show that the prophecy of Moses (for which, see beginning of the preface) was fulfilled.

It fires the place, which forces yells of griet,
From all the Jews who run to yield relief;

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In such extremity they laughd at fear,
For what was sweet as health, and light as dear,
Titus as soon as he perceiv'd th'event,
Vainly its fall attempted to prevent,
The mount, on which the temple stood, entire, 190
Seem'd like a body of devouring fire ;
While blood ran down like an impetuous rain,
But less were those who slew, than were the slain;
And they who combated were forc'd to tread,
On those who just were dying or were dead. 195
The priests themselves, a base degen'rate race,
Dar'd at the last the fierce invaders face;
They fought unpractis'd in the warrior's art,
The temple-spit they wielded as a dart;
Their heavy seats that were compos’d with lead,
They hurld indignantly of stones instead.
E'en those to ling'ring death whom famine wore,
Whose eyes were almost clos’d to ope no more,

200

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205

Yet when they saw the sacred house on fire,
An agonizing passion would inspire;
Dying they join'd the clamour of despair,
Which dreadful tore the circumambient air;
From Perea and the various mountains round,
Affrighted echo did return the sound.

Ah! what avail'd, as Heav'n its fall had doom'd!
The gay magnificence with which it bloom'd! 211
Its precious store of consecrated things !
Its gifts, through many an age, from mighty kings!
Its gold and dazzling splendors which afar,
Shone like a meteor blazing in the air ! 215
Ah! what avail'd the art with which t'was rear'd
And there that God's dread presence had appear'd!
Its gorgeous beauties by the foe were crush’d,
And with the besom of destruction brush'd.

Line 211. See a description of the Temple in Josephus's Jewish Antiquities.

Where stood the wrath-struck city did appear, 220

As if no dweller ever had been there.

And as our Saviour his disciples told,
Deigning the book of future times t' unfold,
"Its fabrics all were levell’d with the ground,
Nor was one stone upon another found."

22;

Line 225, &". Josephus in the wars of the Jews la, this description of the destruction of Jerusalem, according to the translation by L'Estrange, book 7. chap 18.

“ This was in fine ile illue of the siege, and when the soldiers had neither rapine nor bloodshed for their spleens to work upon, (as they would not have been idle if they had had matter) Titus ordered them to lay the city and temple level with the ground and leave nothing standing but the three famous turrets, Phasael, Hippicos, and Mariamne, that overtopped all the rest, and a piece of a wall to the westward of the town, where he designed a garrison; the towers to remain as so many monuments to posterity of the Roman power and conduct in taking them. This order was punctually executed, and all the re:t laid so flat, that the place looked as if it had never been inliabited. This was the end of the Jerusalem faction, a mad and seditious people, and this was also the end of the most glorious city in the universe."

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