Page:Redemption, a Poem.djvu/259

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KEDEMPTION. 253

Silent his tongue be, palsied be his limbs,

That speaks nor moves to compass this Man's death,

And cursed for aye in Israel be his race."

Thus froth'd Asmonides, when next, more shrewd, Though not less fill'd with hate, Joazer spoke, Boethius' son ; who, sleek, with honied words, Judea sooth'd, when Caesar's envoys chafed The tribes with new enrollment, hard oppress'd. He fear'd sedition, though by this he rose To sacerdotal, from plebeian rank, In that Matthias place, who fell deprived, To sate revenge of Antipater's son ; And tumult fear'd, though not from love of peace, But lest disturb should him deprive of spoils ; For this he spake, and thus his scheme apposed :

" Estates of Israel, princes, rulers, chiefs, Caution, not less than our detest, should lead Our quest as to what means may us relieve From this bad Man, this wrangler, Israel's bane, Who comes with show of seeming sanctity Severe, and zeal, our priesthood to asperse, And draw down vulgar odium on our rule. Caution, lest the base rabble, who his feet Pursue wine-bibbers, gluttons, brawlers, lewd, infame, So num'rous grown of late, should tumult brew. Such have, not seldom, Juda's peace embroil'd; And these, as seen, no less seditious, sow Distrust, plot discord, and the state subvert By civil war ; as well ye know, erewhile Did Alexander, who, a base born priest, Uprose seditious, nor desisted till He slew more than five times ten thousand Jews.

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