Nor, Pantheus, thee, thy miter, nor the bands Of awful Phoebus, sav’d from impious hands.
What bands of faith can impious lucre hold?
Nor impious Fame was wanting to report The ships repair’d, the Trojans’ thick resort, And purpose to forsake the Tyrian court.
Witness, ye gods, and thou my better part, How loth I am to try this impious art!
Then dire debate and impious war shall cease, And the stern age be soften’d into peace: Then banish’d Faith shall once again return, And Vestal fires in hallow’d temples burn; And Remus with Quirinus shall sustain The righteous laws, and fraud and force restrain.
That blood, those murthers, O ye gods, replace On his own head, and on his impious race!
Yet one remain’d— the messenger of Fate: High on a craggy cliff Celaeno sate, And thus her dismal errand did relate: ’What! not contented with our oxen slain, Dare you with Heav’n an impious war maintain, And drive the Harpies from their native reign?
Our country gods, the relics, and the bands, Hold you, my father, in your guiltless hands: In me ’t is impious holy things to bear, Red as I am with slaughter, new from war, Till in some living stream I cleanse the guilt Of dire debate, and blood in battle spilt.’
Hippolytus, as old records have said, Was by his stepdam sought to share her bed; But, when no female arts his mind could move, She turn’d to furious hate her impious love.
Struck with the sight, and seiz’d with rage divine, The matrons prosecute their mad design: They shriek aloud; they snatch, with impious hands, The food of altars; fires and flaming brands.
But first to Pluto’s palace you shall go, And seek my shade among the blest below: For not with impious ghosts my soul remains, Nor suffers with the damn’d perpetual pains, But breathes the living air of soft Elysian plains.
Then lewd Anchemolus he laid in dust, Who stain’d his stepdam’s bed with impious lust.
With impious haste their altars are o’erturn’d, The sacrifice half-broil’d, and half-unburn’d.
O Trojans, cease From impious arms, nor violate the peace!
And now the goddess, exercis’d in ill, Who watch’d an hour to work her impious will, Ascends the roof, and to her crooked horn, Such as was then by Latian shepherds borne, Adds all her breath: the rocks and woods around, And mountains, tremble at th’ infernal sound.
These are the foreign foes, whose impious band, Like that rapacious bird, infest our land: But soon, like him, they shall be forc’d to sea By strength united, and forego the prey.
But from the time when impious Diomede, And false Ulysses, that inventive head, Her fatal image from the temple drew, The sleeping guardians of the castle slew, Her virgin statue with their bloody hands Polluted, and profan’d her holy bands; From thence the tide of fortune left their shore, And ebb’d much faster than it flow’d before: Their courage languish’d, as their hopes decay’d; And Pallas, now averse, refus’d her aid.
Yet, won by worth that cannot be withstood, Brib’d by my kindness to my kindred blood, Urg’d by my wife, who would not be denied, I promis’d my Lavinia for your bride: Her from her plighted lord by force I took; All ties of treaties, and of honor, broke: On your account I wag’d an impious warWith what success, ’t is needless to declare; I and my subjects feel, and you have had your share.
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"Oh, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ," I kept hearing myself mutter, half aware of the questioning look on the face of the old man, who as a member of the Second Baptist Church of Washington was doubtless unprepared for such impiety from a preacher.
William Styron -- Sophie’s Choice
…mountains have been set in motion, when the pregnant camels have been ignored, when the savage beasts have been assembled together, when the seas have been caused to overflow, when the souls have been mated, when the buried infant girl has been asked for what impiety she was slain, when the scrolls have been unfolded, when the heaven has been stripped off, when hellfire has been caused to burn fiercely, when the Garden has been brought close, every soul shall know to what it is prone.