Scene-17a Hugo sees four shadowy altars rise,
They seem to swell and dilate in size;
Larger and clearer now they loom,
Now fires are lighting them through the gloom.
The first a golden-hued fire shows,
A blood-red flame on the second glows,
The blaze on the third is tinged like the rose,
From the fourth a column of black smoke goes.

SPIRITS SING AT THE FIRST ALTAR Hail, Mammon! while man buys and barters, Thy kingdom in this world is sure; Thy prophets thou hast and thy martyrs, Great things in thy name they endure; Thy fetters of gold crush the miser, The userer bends at thy shrine, And the wealthier nations and the wiser Bow with us at this altar of thine.

SPIRITS SING AT THE SECOND ALTAR Hail, Moloch! whose banner floats blood-red From pole to equator unfurl'd, Whose laws redly written have stood red, And shall stand while standeth this world; Clad in purple, with thy diadem gory, Thy sceptre the blood-dripping steel, Thy subjects with us give thee glory, With us at thine altar they kneel.

SPIRITS SING AT THE THIRD ALTAR Hail, Sovereign! whose fires are kindled By sparks from the bottomless pit, Has thy worship diminish'd or dwindled? Do the yokes of thy slaves lightly sit? Nay, the men of all climes and all races Are stirr'd by the flames that now stir us; Then (as we do) they fall in their faces, Crying, 'Hear us! Oh! Ashtaroth, hear us!'

SPIRITS ALL IN CHORUS The vulture her carrion swallows, Returns to his vomit the dog, In the slough of uncleanliness wallows The he-goat, and revels the hog. Men are wise with their schools and their teachers, Men are just with their creeds and their priests; Yet, in spite of their pedants and preachers, They backslide in footprints of beasts! Adam Lindsay Gordon

...TO ASHTAROTH INDEX......BACK TO SCENE 15.16......FORWARD TO SCENE 17b...