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The Holy war, made by King Shaddai upon Diabolus   By: (1628-1688)

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'Tis strange to me, that they that love to tell Things done of old, yea, and that do excel Their equals in historiology, Speak not of Mansoul's wars, but let them lie Dead, like old fables, or such worthless things, That to the reader no advantage brings: When men, let them make what they will their own, Till they know this, are to themselves unknown. Of stories, I well know, there's divers sorts, Some foreign, some domestic; and reports Are thereof made as fancy leads the writers: (By books a man may guess at the inditers.) Some will again of that which never was, Nor will be, feign (and that without a cause) Such matter, raise such mountains, tell such things Of men, of laws, of countries, and of kings; And in their story seem to be so sage, And with such gravity clothe every page, That though their frontispiece says all is vain, Yet to their way disciples they obtain. But, readers, I have somewhat else to do, Than with vain stories thus to trouble you. What here I say, some men do know so well, They can with tears and joy the story tell. The town of Mansoul is well known to many, Nor are her troubles doubted of by any That are acquainted with those Histories That Mansoul and her wars anatomize. Then lend thine ear to what I do relate, Touching the town of Mansoul and her state: How she was lost, took captive, made a slave: And how against him set, that should her save; Yea, how by hostile ways she did oppose Her Lord, and with his enemy did close. For they are true: he that will them deny Must needs the best of records vilify. For my part, I myself was in the town, Both when 'twas set up, and when pulling down. I saw Diabolus in his possession, And Mansoul also under his oppression. Yea, I was there when she own'd him for lord, And to him did submit with one accord. When Mansoul trampled upon things divine, And wallowed in filth as doth a swine; When she betook herself unto her arms, Fought her Emmanuel, despis'd his charms; Then I was there, and did rejoice to see Diabolus and Mansoul so agree. Let no men, then, count me a fable maker, Nor make my name or credit a partaker Of their derision: what is here in view, Of mine own knowledge, I dare say is true. I saw the Prince's armed men come down By troops, by thousands, to besiege the town; I saw the captains, heard the trumpets sound, And how his forces covered all the ground. Yea, how they set themselves in battle 'ray, I shall remember to my dying day. I saw the colours waving in the wind, And they within to mischief how combin'd To ruin Mansoul, and to make away Her primum mobile without delay. I saw the mounts cast up against the town, And how the slings were placed to beat it down: I heard the stones fly whizzing by mine ears, (What longer kept in mind than got in fears?) I heard them fall, and saw what work they made. And how old Mors did cover with his shade The face of Mansoul; and I heard her cry, 'Woe worth the day, in dying I shall die!' I saw the battering rams, and how they play'd To beat open Ear gate; and I was afraid Not only Ear gate, but the very town Would by those battering rams be beaten down. I saw the fights, and heard the captains shout, And in each battle saw who faced about; I saw who wounded were, and who were slain; And who, when dead, would come to life again. I heard the cries of those that wounded were, (While others fought like men bereft of fear,) And while the cry, 'Kill, kill,' was in mine ears, The gutters ran, not so with blood as tears. Indeed, the captains did not always fight, But then they would molest us day and night; Their cry, 'Up, fall on, let us take the town,' Kept us from sleeping, or from lying down. I was there when the gates were broken ope, And saw how Mansoul then was stripp'd of hope; I saw the captains march into the town, How there they fought, and did their foes cut down. I heard the Prince bid Boanerges go Up to the castle, and there seize his foe; And saw him and his fellows bring him down, In chains of great contempt quite through the town... Continue reading book >>

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