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They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms; Deliverance of thy brethren, those ten tribes
Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit;
306 Whose offspring in his territory' yet serve,

375
All horsemen, in which fight they most excel; In Habor, and among the Medes dispers'd;
See how in warlike muster they appear, (wings." Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph lost
In rhombs and wedges, and half-moons, and Thus long from Israel, serving, as of old

Their fathers in the land of Egypt serv'd, He look'd, and saw what numbers numberless This offer sets before thee to deliver.

380 The city gates out-pour'd, light armed troops 311 These if from servitude thou shalt restore In coats of mail and military pride;

To their inheritance, then, nor till then, In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong, Thou on the throne of David in full glory, Prancing their riders bore, the flower and choice From Egypt to Euphrates and beyond, Of many provinces from bound to bound: 315 Shalt reign, and Rome or Cæsar not need fear." 385 From Arachosia, from Candaor east, And Margiana, to th' Hyrcanian cliffs

To whom our Saviour answer'd thus unmov'd: Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales;

“ Much ostentation vain of fleshly arm, From Atropatia, and the neighb'ring plains

And fragil arms, much instrument of war Of Adiabene, Media, and the south

320

Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought, Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven.

Before mine eyes thou' hast set: and in my ear 390 He saw them in their forms of battle rang'd, (shot Vented much policy, and projects deep How quick they wheel'd, and flying behind them Of enemies, of aids, battles and leagues, Sharp sleet of arrowy showers against the face Plausible to the world, to me worth nought. Of their pursuers, and overcame by flight; 325 Means I must use, thou say'st, prediction else The field all iron cast a gleaming brown:

Will unpredict, and fail me of the throne : 395 Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn

My time I told thee (and that time for thee Cuirassiers all in steel for standing night,

Were better farthest oft) is not yet come: Chariots or elephants indors'd with towers

When that comes, think not thou to find me slack Of archers, nor of lab'ring pioneers

330

On my part ought endeav'ring, or to need A multitude, with spades and axes arm'd

Thy politic maxims, or that cumbersome 400 To lay hills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill,

Luggage of war there shown me, argument Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay

Of human weakness rather than of strength. With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke;

My brethren, as thou call'st them, those ten tribes, Mules after these, camels and dromedaries, 335 I must deliver if I mean to reign And waggons fraught with utensils of war.

David's true heir, and his full sceptre sway 405 Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,

To just extent over all Israel's sons; When Agrican with all his northern powers But whence to thee this zeal, where was it then Besieg'd Albracca, as romances tell,

For Israel or for David, or his throne, The city of Gallaphrone, from whence to win 340 When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride! The fairest of her sex Angelica

Of numb'ring Israel, which cost the lives 410 His daughter, sought by many prowest knights, Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites Both Paynim, and the peers of Charlemaine. By three days' pestilence? such was thy zeal Such and so numerous was their chivalry;

To Israel then, the same that now to me. At sight whereof the fiend yet more presum'd, 345 As for those captive tribes, themselves were they And to our Saviour thus his words renew'd : Who wrought their own captivity, fell off 415

From God to worship calves, the deities “ That thou may'st know I seek not to engage Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth, Thy virtue, and not every way secure

And all th' idolatries of Heathen round, On no slight grounds thy safety; hear, and mark Besides their other worse than heath'nish crimes; To what end I have brought thee hither, and Nor in the land of their captivity

420 shown

350

Humbled themselves, or penitent besought
All this fair sight: thy kingdom, though foretold The God of their forefathers; but so died
By prophet or by angel, unless thou

Impenitent, and left a race behind
Endeavour, as thy father
David did,

Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
Thou never shalt obtain; prediction still

From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain, 425 In all things, and all men, supposes means; 3.55 And God with idols in their worship join'd. Without means usd, what it predicts revokes. Should I of these the liberty regard, But say thou wert possess'd of David's throne Who freed as to their ancient patrimony, By free consent of all, none opposite,

Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreform'd, Samaritan or Jew; how couldst thou hope

Headlong would follow'; and to their gods perhaps Long to enjoy it quiet and secure,

360 Of Bethel and of Dan ? no, let them serve 431 Between two such enclosing enemies

Their enemies who serve idols with God. Roman and Parthian? therefore one of these Yet he at length, time to himself best known, Thou must make sure thy own, the Parthian first, Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wondrous call By my advice, as nearer, and of late

May bring them back repentant and sincere, 435 Found able by invasion to annoy

And at their passing cleave th' Assyrian flood, Thy country', and captive lead away her kings While to their native land with joy they haste, Antigonus, and old Hyrcanus bound,

As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft, Maugre the Roman; it shall be my task

When to the Promis d Land their fathers pass'd ; To render thee the Parthian at dispose :

To his due time and providence I leave them." 440 Choose which thou wilt, by conquest or by league By him thou shalt regain, without him not, 371 So spake Israel's true King, and to the fiend That which alone can truly reinstal thee

Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles. In David's royal seat, his true successor,

So fares it when with truth falsehood contends.

365

END OF BOOK THIRD,

PARADISE REGAINED.

BOOK IV.

men

PERPLEX'D and troubled at his bad success Moroe Nilotic isle, and more to west,
The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,

The realm of Bocchus to the Black-moor sea; Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope From th' Asian kings and Parthian among these, So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric

From India and the golden Chersonese,

15 That sleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve, So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve;

Ever

Dusk faces with white silken turbants wreath'd ; This far his over-match, who self deceir'd

From Gallia, Gades, and the British west;
And rash, beforehand had no better weigh'd Germans and Scythians, and Sarmathians north,
The strength he was to cope with, or his own: Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool.
But as a man who had been matchless held 10 Ali nations now to Rome obedience pay, SO
In cunning over-reach'd where least he thought, To Rome's great emperor, whose wide domain,
To salve his credit, and for very spite,

In ample territory, wealth and power,
Still will be tempting him who foils him still, Civility of manners, arts and arins,
And never cease, though to his shame the more ; And long renown, thou justly may'st prefer,
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,

15 Before the Parthian; these two thrones except, 85
About the wine-press where sweet must be pour'd, The rest are barb'rous, and scarce worth the sight,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound; Shar'd among petty kings too far remov'd :
Or surging waves against a solid rock,

These having shown thee, I have shown thee all Though all to shivers dash'd, th' assault renew, The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory. Vain batt'ry, and in froth or bubbles end; 20 This emp'ror hath no son, and now is old, 90 So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse

Old and lascivious, and from Rome retir'd Met ever, and to shameful silence brought,

To Capræ, an island small, but strong, Yet gives not o'er, though desp'rate of success, On the Campanian shore, with purpose there And his vain importunity pursues.

His horrid lusts in private to enjoy, He brought our Saviour to the westem side 25 Committing to a wicked favourite

95 Of that high mountain, whence he might behold All public cares, and yet of him suspicions; Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide, Hated of all, and hating: with what ease, Wash'd by the southern sea, and on the north Endu'd with regal virtues, as thou art, To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills, Appearing, and beginning noble deeds,

99 That screen'd the fruits of th' earth and seats of Might'st thou expel this monster from his throne,

30 Now made a sty, and in his place ascending, From cold Septentrion blasts, thence in the midst A victor people free from servile yoke? Divided by a river, of whose banks

And with my help thou may'st: to me the power On each side an imperial city stood,

Is given, and by that right I give it thee. With towers and temples proudly elevate

Aim therefore at no less than all the world, 105 On seven small hills, with palaces adorn'd, 35 Aini at the highest; without the highest attain'd Porches and theatres, baths, aqueducts,

Will be for thee no sitting, or not long Statues and trophies, and triumphal arcs,

On David's throne, be prophesied what will." Gardens and groves presented to his eyes, Above the height of mountains interpos'd ;

To whom the Son of God unmov'd replied: By what strange parallax, or optic skill

40 “ Nor doth this grandeur, and majestic show 110 Of vision multiplied through air or glass

Of luxury, though call'd magnificence, Of telescope, were curious to enquire :

More than of arms before, allure mine eye, And now the Tempter thus his silence broke: Much less my mind; though thou shouldst add to

tell “ The city which thou seest no other deem Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts, Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the earth, On citron tables or Atlantic stone,

115 So far renown'd, and with the spoils enrich'd 46 (For I have also heard, perhaps have read,) Of nations; there the capitol thou seest

Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne, Above the rest lifting his stately head

Chios, and Crete, and how they quaff in gold, On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel

Crystal and myrrhine cups, imboss'd with gems Impregnable; and there Mount Palatine, 50 And studs of pearl; to me shouldst tell who thirst Th' imperial palace, compass huge, and high And hunger still: then embassies thou show'st 121 The structure, skill of noblest architects,

From nations far and nigh; what honour that, With gilded battlements, conspicuous far,

But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear Turrets and terraces, and glitt'ring spires.

So many hollow compliments and lies, Many a fair edifice besides, more like

55 Outlandish flatteries? Then proceed'st to talk 125 Houses of gods (so well I have dispos'd

Of th' emperor, how easily subdu'd, My airy microscope,) thou may'st behold

How gloriously: I shall, thou say'st, expel Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs,

A brutish monster : what if I withal Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd artificers

Expel a devil who first made him such ? In cedar, marble, ivory or gold.

60 Let his tormentor conscience find him out; 130 Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see For him I was not sent; nor yet to free. What conflux issuing forth, or entering in;

That people, victor once, now vile and base, Prætors, proconsuls to their provinces

Deservedly made vassal, who once just, Hasting, or on return, in robes of state:

Frugal and mild, and temp'rate, conquer'd well, Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power, 65 But govern ill the nations under yoke, Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings: Peeling their provinces, exhausted all Or embassies from regions far remote

By lust and rapine? first ambitious grown In various habits on the Appian road,

of triumph, that insulting vanity; Or on th’Emilian; some from farthest south, Then cruel, by their sports to blood inur'd Syene', and where the shadow both way falls, 70 Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts expos'd; 140

135

Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still, And with the Gentiles much thou must converse, And from the daily scene effeminate.

Ruling them by persuasion, as thou mean'st; 230 What wise and valiant man would seek to free Without their learning how wilt thou with them These thus degenerate, by themselves enslav'd, Or they with thee, hold conversation meet? Or could of in ward slaves make outward free? 145 How wilt thou reason with them, how refute Know therefore, when my season comes to sit Their idolisms, traditions, paradoxes? On David's throne, it shall be like a tree

Error by his own arms is best evinc'd.

235 Spreading and overshadowing all the earth; Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount, Or as a stone that shall to pieces dash

Westward, much nearer by south-west ; behold All monarchies besides throughout the world; 150 Where on th' gean shore a city stands And of my kingdom there shall be no end :

Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil, Means there shall be to this, but what the means, Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts 240 Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell."

And eloquence, native to famous wits

Or hospitable, in her sweet recess, To whom the Tempter impudent replied: City' or suburban, studious walks and shades; " I see all offers made by me how slight 155 See there the olive grove of Academe, Thou valuest, because offer'd, and reject'st: Plato's retirement, where the attic bird 245 Nothing will please the difficult and nice,

Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long; Or nothing more than still to contradict:

There flowery hill Hymettus with the sound On th' other side know also thou, that I

Of bees' industrious murmur oft invites On what I offer set as high esteem,

160 The studious musing; there Ilissus rolls Nor what I part with mean to give for nought; His whisp'ring stream: within the walls then view All these, which in a moment thou behold'st, The schools of ancient sages; his who bred 251 The kingdoms of the world to thee I give;

Great Alexander to subdue the world; For given to me, I give to whom I please;

Lyceuin there, and painted Stoa next: No trifle; yet with

this reserve, not else, 165 There shalt thou hear and learn the secret power On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,

Of harmony in tones and numbers hit

255 And worship me as thy superior lord,

By voice or hand, and various-measur'd verse, Easily done, and hold them all of me;

Æolian charins and Dorian lyric odes, For what can less so great a gift deserve ?"

And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,

Blind Melesigenes thence Homer call'a, Whom thus our Saviour answer'd with disdain : Whose poem Phabus challeng'd for his own. 260 “ I never lik'd thy talk, thy offers less.

171 Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught Now both abhor, since thou hast dar'd to utter In chorus or iambic, teachers best Th' abominable terms, impious condition;

Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd But I endure the time, till which expir'd,

In brief sententious precepts, while they treat Thou hast permission on me. It is written 175 Of fate, and chance, and change in human life ; 265 The first of all commandments, Thou shalt wor High actions, and high ons best describing. ship

Thence to the famous orators repair, The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve; Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence And dar'st thou to the Son of God propound Wielded at will that fierce democratie, To worship thee accurs'd, now more accurs'd Shook th' arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece, 270 For this attempt, bolder than that on Eve, 180 To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne. And more blasphemous ? which expect to rue. To sage philosophy next lend thine car, The kingdoms of the world to thee were given, From heaven descended to the low-roof'd house Permitted rather, and by thee usurp'd;

Of Socrates; see there his tenement, Other donation thou none canst produce.

Whom well inspir'd the oracle pronounc'd 275 If given, by whom, but by the King of kings, 185 Wisest of men; froin whose mouth issued forth God over all supreme? if given to thee,

Mellifluous streams, that water'd all the schools By thee how fairly in the giver now

Of Academics old and new, with those Repaid ? But gratitude in thee is lost

Sirnam'd Peripatetics, and the sect Long since. Wert thou so void of fear or shame, Epicurean, and the Stoic severe:

280 As offer them to me, the Son of God,

190 These here revolve, or, as thou lik'st, at home, To me my own, on such abhorred pact,

Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight: That I fall down and worship thee as God? These rules will render thee a king complete Get thee behind me; plain thou now appear'st Within thyself; much more with empire join'd." That evil one, Satan for ever damn'd."

To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied: 285 To whom the fiend, with fear abash'd, replied: Think not but that I know these things, or thir:k “ Be not so sore offended, Son of God,

196 I know them not; not therefore am I short (Though sons of God both angels are and men,) Of knowing what I ought: he who receives If I, to try whether in higher sort

Light from above, from the fountain of light, Than these thou bear'st that title, have propos'd No other doctrine needs, though granted true; 290 What both from men and angels I receive, 200 But these are false, or little else but dreams, Tetrarchs of fire, air, flood, and on the earth Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm. Nations besides from all the quarter'd winds, The first and wisest of them all profess'd God of this world invok'd, and world beneath: To know this only, that he nothing knew; Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold The next to fabling fell and smooth conceits; 295 To me so fatal, me it most concerns.

205

A third sort doubted all things, though plain sense ; The trial hath indamag'd thee no way,

Others in virtue plac'd felicity, Rather more honour left and more esteem;

But virtue join'd' with riches and long life: Me nought advantag'd, missing what I aim'd. In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease : Therefore let pass, as they are transitory,

The Stoic last in philosophic pride,

300 The kingdoms of this world; I shall no more 210 By hiin call'd virtue; and his virtuous man, Advise thee; gain them as thou canst, or not. Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing, And thou thyself seem'st otherwise inclin'd

Equals to God, oft shames not to prefer, Than to a worldly crown, addicted more

As fearing God nor man, contemning all 304 To contemplation and profound dispute,

Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life, As by that early action may be judg'a.

215 Which, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can When, slipping from thy mother's eye, thou went'st For all his tedious talk is but vain boast, Alone into the temple; there wast found

Or subtle shifts conviction to evade. Among the gravest Raboies, disputant

Alas, what can they teach, and not mislead, On points and questions fitting Moses' chair, (man Ignorant of themselves, of God much more, Teaching, not taught; the childhood shows the And how the world began, and how man fell, As morning shows the day. Be famous then 221 Degraded by himself, on grace depending? By wisdom; as thy empire must extend,

Much of the soul they talk, but all awry, So let extend thy mind o'er all the world

And in themselves seek virtue', and to themselves In knowledge, all things in it comprehend: All glory arrogate, to God give none,

315 All knowledge is not couch'd in Moses' law, 225 Rather accuse him under usual names, The Pentateuch, or what the prophets wrote; Fortune and fate, as one regardless quite The Gentiles also know, and write and teach Of mortal things. Who therefore seeks in these To admiration, led by Nature's light;

True wisdom, finds her not; or, by delusion

310

Far worse, her false resemblance only meets, 320 | From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head, An empty cloud. However, many books,

But shelter'd slept in vain; for at his head Wise men have said, are wearisome: who reads The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams Incessantly, and to his reading brings not

Disturb'd his sleep: and either tropic now 409 A spirit and judgment equal or superior,

'Gan thunder, and both ends of heaven, the clouds, (And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere From many a horrid rift abortive, pour'd seek?)

325 Fierce rain with lightning mix’d, water with fire Uncertain and unsettled still remains,

In ruin reconcilia: nor slept the winds Deep vers'd in books and shallow in himself, Within their stony caves, but rush'd abroad Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,

From the four hinges of the world, and fell 415 And trifles for choice matters, worth a sponge ; On the vex'd wilderness, whose tallest pines, As children gathering pebbles on the shore. 330 Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest oaks, Or if I would delight my private hours

Bow'd their stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts, With music or with poem, where so soon

Or torn up sheer; ill wast thou shrouded then, As in our native language can I find

O patient Son of God, yet only stood'st

420 That solace ? All our law and story strow'd

Unslaken: nor yet stay'd the terror there; With hymns, our psalms with artful terms inscrib'd, Infernal ghosts and hellish furies round Our Hebrew songs and harps in Babylon, 336 Environd thee; some howl'd, some yell’d, some That pleas'd so well our victor's ear, declare

shriek'd, That rather Greece from us these arts deriv'd; Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou Il imitated, while they loudest sing

Sat'st unappall'd in calm and sinless peace. 425 The vices of their deities, and their own, 340 Thus pass'd the night so foul, till morning fair In fable, hymn, or song, so personating

Came torth with pilgrim steps in amice gray, Their gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame. Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar Remove their swelling epithets, thick laid

Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the winds, As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,

And grisly spectres, which the fiend had rais'd 430 Thin sown with ought of profit or delight, 345 To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire. Will far be found u worthy to compare

And now the sun with more effectual beams With Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling, Had cheer'd the face of earth, and dried the wet Where God is prais'd aright, and godlike men, From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds, The holiest of holies, and his saints;

Who all things now behold more fresh and green, Such are from God inspir'd; not such from thee, After a night of storm so ruinous,

436 Unless where moral virtue is express'd

351 Clear'd up their choicest notes in bush and spray, By light of nature not in all quite lost.

To gratulate the sweet return of morn: Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those

Nor yet amidst this joy and brightest morn The top of eloquence; statists, indeed,

Was absent, after all his mischief done, 440 And lovers of their country, as may seem :

355 The Prince of Darkness; glad would also seem But herein to our prophets far beneath,

Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came, As men divinely taught, and better teaching Yet with no new device, they all were spent : The solid rules of civil government,

Rather by this his last affront resolv'd, In their majestic unaffected style,

Desp'rate of better course, to vent his rage 445 Than all the oratory' of Greece and Rome. 360 And mad despite to be so oft repell’d. In them is plainest taught, and easiest learn'd, Him walking on a sunny hill he found, What makes a nation happy', and keeps it so; Back'd on the north and west by a thick wood; What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat:

Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape, These only with our law best form a king."

And in a careless mood thus to him said: 450 So spake the Son of God; but Satan now, 365 Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God, Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent,

After a dismal night: I heard the wreck Thus to our Saviour with stern brow replied : As earth and sky would mingle; but myself

Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear "Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms nor

them arts,

As dangʻrous to the pillar'd frame of heaven, 455 Kingdom nor empire, pleases thee, nor ought Or to the earth's dark basis underneath, By me propos'd in life contemplative,

370 Are to the main as inconsiderable Or active, tended on by glory', or fame,

And harmless, if not wholesome, as a sneeze What dost thou in this world ? the wilderness To man's less universe, and soon are gone; For thee is fittest place; I found thee there, Yet as being oft times noxious where they light 400 And thither will return thee; yet remember On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent, What I foretell thee; soon thou shalt have cause Like turbulencies in th' aftairs of men, To wish thou never hadst rejected thus 376 Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point, Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid,

They oft fore-signify and threaten ill: Which would have set thee in short time with This tempest at this desert most was bent; 405 ease

Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'st. On David's throre, or throne of all the world, Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season,

380 The perfect season offer'd with my aid When prophecies of thee are best fulfiil'd.

To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong Now contrary, if I read ought in heaven,

All to the push of fate, pursue thy way 470 Or heaven write ought of fate, by what the star Of gaining David's throne no man knows when, Voluminous, or single characters,

For both the when and how is no where told, In their conjunction met, give me to spell, 385 Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt; Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate

For angels have proclaim'd it, but concealing Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,

The time and means : each act is rightliest done, Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death: Not when it must, but when it may be best. 476 A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom, If thou observe not this, be sure to find Real or allegoric, I discern not,

What I foretold thee, many a hard assay Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,

Of dangers, and adversities, and pains, Without beginning; for no date prefix'd

Ere thou of Israel's sceptre get fast hold; 480 Directs me in the starry rubric set."

Whereof this ominous night that clos'd thee round,

So many terrors, voices, prodigies,
So saying, he took (for still he knew his power May warn thee, as a sure foregoing sign."
Not yet expir'd ) and to he wilderness

395 Brought back the Son of God, and left him there, So talk'd he while the Son of God went on, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, And stay'd not, but in brief him answer'd thus: 485 as day-light sunk, and brought in lowering night, Her shadowy offspring, unsubstantial both,

“ Me worse than wet thou find'st not; other Privation mere of light and absent day. 400

harm Our Saviour, meek, and with untroubled mind, Those terrors which thou speak'st of did me none; After his airy jaunt, though hurried sore,

I never fear'd they could, though noising loud, Hungry and cold, betook him to his rest,

And threat'ning nigh; what they can do as signs Wherever, under some concourse of shades, Betokening, or ill-boding, I contemn

490 Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd might As false portents, not sent from God, but thee, shield,

405 Who knowing I shall reign past thy preventing,

396

Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I accepting,

With Jove's Alcides, and oft foil'd still rose, 565 At least might seem to hold all power of thee, Receiving from his mother-earth new strength, Ambitious spirit, and wouldst be thought my God, Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple joind, And storin'st refus'd, thinking to terrify 496 Throttled at length in th' air, expir'd and fell; Me to thy will: desist, thou art discern'd

So after many a foil the Tempter proud, And toils't in vain, nor me in vain molest." Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride, 570

Fell whence he stood to see his victor fall. To whom the fiend, now swoln with rage, re And as that Theban monster, that propos'd plied:

Her riddle', and hiin who solv'd it not devour'd, « Then hear, o Son of David, Virgin-born; 500 That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spite For Son of God to me is yet in doubt;

Cast herself headlong from th' Ismenian steep; 575 Of the Messiah I have heard foretold

So, struck with dread and anguish fell the fiend; By all the prophets: of thy birth, at length

And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought Announc'd by Gabriel, with the first I knew, Joyless triumphals of his hop'd success, And of th' angelic song in Bethlehem field, 505 Ruin and desperation, and dismay, On thy birth-night, that sung thee Saviour born. Who durst so proudly tempt the Son of God. 380 From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye

So Satan fell; and straight a fiery globe Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,

Of angels on full sail of wing flew nigh, Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred; Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft Till at the ford of Jordan, whither all

510 From his uneasy station, and upbore Flock to the Baptist, I among the rest

As on a floating couch through the blithe air, 585 Though not to be baptiz'd, by voice from heaven Then in a flowery valley set him down Heard thee pronounc'd, the Son of God belov'd. On a green bank, and set before him spread Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view A table of celestial food, divine, And narrower scrutiny, that I inight learn 515 Ambrosial fruits, fetch'd from the tree of life, In what degree of meaning thou art callid

And from the fount of life ambrosial drink. 590 The Son of God, which bears no single sense : That soon refreshi'd him wearied, and repair'd, The Son of God'I also am, or was;

What hunger, if ought hunger had impair'd, And if I was, I am, relation stands :

Or thirst; and as he fed, angelic choirs All men arc sons of God: yet thee I thought 520 Sung heavenly anthems of his victory In some respect far higher so deciar'd.

Over temptation, and the Tempter proud. 595 Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour, And follow'd thee still on to this waste wild;

“ True image of the Father, whether thron'd Where by all best conjectures I collect

In the bosom of bliss and light of light Thou art to be my fatal enemy.

525 Conceiving, or remote from heaven, inshrin'd Good reason then, if I beforehand seek

In fleshly tabernacle, and human form, To understand my adversary, who

Wand'ring the wilderness, whatever place, 600 And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent; Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing By parle, or composition, truce, or league,

The Son of God, with godlike force endu'd To win him, or win from him what I can. 530 Against th' attempter of thy Father's throne, An opportunity I here have had

And thief of Paradise; him long of old To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found thee Thou didst debel, and down from heaven cast 605 Proof against all temptation, as a rock

With all his army; now thou hast aveng'd Of adamant, and as a centre, firm,

Supplanted Adam, and, by vanquishing To th' utmost of mere man both wise and good, 535 Temptation, hast regain d lost Paradise, Not more; for honours, riches, kingdoms, glory, And frustrated the conquest fraudulent; Have been before contemn'd, and may again : He never more henceforth will dare set foot 610 Therefore to know what more thou art than man, In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke: Worth naming Son of God by voice from heaven, For though that seat of earthly bliss be failid, Another method I must now begin."

540 A fairer Paradisc is founded now

For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou So saying, he caught him up, and, without wing A Saviour art come down to re-instal,

615 of hippogrift; bore through the air sublime Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be, Over the wilderness and o'er the plain;

Of tempter and temptation without fear. Till underneath them fair Jerusalemn,

But thou, infernal Serpent, shalt not long The holy city, lifted high her towers,

545 Rule in the clouds; like an autumnal star And higher yet the glorious temple rear'd

Or lightning thou shalt fall from heaven, trod Her pile, far off appearing like a mount

down

620 Of alabaster, topp'd with golden spires :

Under his feet: for proof, ere this thou feel'st There on the highest pinnacle he set

Thy wound, yet not thy last and deadliest wound, The Son of God, and added thus in scorn : 550 By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in hell

No triumph: in all her gates Abaddon rues “ There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe 625 upright

To dread the Son of God: he all unarin'd Will ask thee skill! I to thy father's house [is best : Shall chase thee with the terror of his voice Have brought thee', and highest plac'd ; highest From thy demoniac holds, possession foul, Now show thy progeny; if not to stand,

Thee and thy legions; yelling they shall fly, Cast thyself down; safcly, if Son of God : 555 And beg to hide them in a herd of swine, 630 For it is written, He will give command

Lest he command them down into the deep Concerning thec to his angels, in their hands Bound, and to torment sent before their time. They shall uplift thee, lest at any time

Hail Son of the Most High, heir of both worlds, Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone." Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work

Now enter, and begin to save mankind." 635 To whom thus Jesus: “ Also it is written, 560 Tempt not the Lord thy God :" he said, and stoud: Thus they the Son of God, our Saviour meek, But Satan, smitten with amazement, fell.

Sung victor, and from heavenly feast refresh'd A: When earth's son Antæus (to compare

Brought on his way with joy; he unobserv'd Small things with greatest) in Irasca surore Home to his mother's house private return'd.

END OF PARADISE REGAINED.

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