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Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk, Smooth on the tongue discours'd, pleasing to th' ear, And tuneable as sylvan pipe or song;
What wonder then if I delight to hear
Her dictates from thy mouth? most men admire Virtue, who follow not her lore: permit me
To hear thee when I come, since no man comes,
And talk at least, though I despair to attain.
To whom our Saviour with unalter'd brow.
487 atheous] Cicero, speaking of Diagoras, Atheos qui dictus est.' De Nat. D. i. 23.
in old English. Dunster. Todd.
'Atheal' is not uncommon
496 gray dissimulation] See Ford's Broken Heart; ed. Weber, p. 304.
'Lay by thy whining gray dissimulation.'
Into thin air diffus'd: for now began
Night with her sullen wings to double-shade
499 thin] Virg. Æn. iv. 278.
'Et procul in tenuem ex oculis evanuit auram.' Shakesp. Temp. act iv. sc. 2.
'Are melted into air, into thin air.' Dunster. 500 Night] Nonnus ends the xxvth book of his Dionysiaca thus,
Καὶ σκιερὴν ἐμέλαινεν ὅλην χθόνα σιγαλέη νύξ·
500 double-shade] Ov. Met. xi. 550.
⚫'Duplicataque noctis imago est.'
501 fowls] Beaumont's Psyche, c. xiii. st. 355, ed. 1648.
'Each gentle fair-condition'd bird and beast
Hied them unto their nests and dens .
Only some ominous ravens, and screech owles prest
MEANWHILE the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd
And on that high authority had believ'd,
And with him talk'd, and with him lodg'd-I mean
6 mean] See this expression in Harington's Ariosto, xxxi. 46. 'I mean Renaldo's House of Montalbane;' and st. 55. 'I mean the cruel Pagan Rodomont.' Newton.
18 shown] Virg. Æn. vi. 869.
'Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata.'
Sought lost Elijah, so in each place these.
The city of palms, Ænon, and Salem old,
23 broad] Broad' is not opposed to long, but means 'large;' in this sense it is often used by the old English poets, and thus their modern imitator, 'He knew her of broad lands the heir.' Marmion, c. ii. st. xxvii. The lake of Genezaret is eighteen miles long, and only five broad.
25 Jordan] Giles Fletcher's Christ's Victorie and Triumph ed. 1632, p. 49:
'Or whistling reeds, that rutty Jordan laves.' A. Dyce. 27 no greater] Spenser in the beginning of Sheph. Cal.
'A shepherd's boy, no better do him call.' Newton. 30 what] So first edition, in most others, that.' Newton
For whither is he gone; what accident
Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire 40 After appearance, and again prolong
Our expectation? God of Israel,
Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come;
Soon we shall see our hope, our joy return.
Thus they out of their plaints new hope resume To find whom at the first they found unsought: But to his mother Mary, when she saw Others return'd from baptism, not her Son, Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none,
Within her breast though calm, her breast though
Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd
Some troubled thoughts, which she in sighs thus