Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/417

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411
BOOK XII.

And his next son, for wealth and wisdom famed,
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine.
Such follow him as shall be registered
Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll,
Whose foul idolatries and other faults,
Heaped to the popular sum, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose their land,
Their city, his temple, and his holy ark,340
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud city, whose high, walls thou sawest
Left in confusion, Babylon thence called.
There in captivity he lets them dwell,
The space of seventy years, then brings them back,
Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn
To David, stablished as the days of Heaven.
Returned from Babylon, by leave of kings,
Their lords, whom God disposed, the house of God
They first re-edify, and for a while350
In mean estate live moderate, till, grown
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow.
But first among the priests dissension springs,
Men who attend the altar, and should most
Endeavor peace! Their strife pollution brings
Upon the temple itself: at last they seize
The sceptre, and regard not David's sons,