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By all the Prophets; of thy birth at length

Announc'd by Gabriel with the first I knew,

And of th' angelic song in Bethlehem field,

On thy birth-night, that sung thee Saviour born.

From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye

Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,

Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred;

Till at the ford of Jordan whither all 510

Flock to the Baptist, I among the rest,

Though not to be baptiz'd, by voice from Heav'n

Heard thee pronoune'd the Son of God belov'd.

Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view

And narrower scrutiny, that I might learn

In what degree or meaning thou art call'd

The Son of God, which bears no single sense;

The Son of God, I also am, or was,

And if I was, I am; relation stands;

All men are sons of God ; yet thee I thought 520

In some respect far higher so declar'd.

Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,

And follow'd thee still on to this waste wild;

Where by all best conjectures I collect

Thou art to be my fatal enemy.

Good reason then, if I before-hand seek

To understand my adversary, who

And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent;

By pari, or composition, truce, or league

To win him, or win from him what I can. 540

And opportunity I heTe have had

To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found that

Proof against all temptation, as a rock
Of adamant, and as a centre firm,
To th' utmost of mere man both wise and geod,
Not more; for honours, riches, kingdoms, glory
Have been before contemn'd, and may again:
Therefore to know what more thou art than man,
Worth naming Son of God, by voice from Heav'n,
Another method I must now begin. 540

So say'ing he caught him up, and without wing
Of hippogrif bore through the air sublime
Over the wilderness and o'er the plain;
Till underneath them fair Jerusalem,
The holy city lifted high her towers,
And higher yet the glorious temple rcar'd
Her pile, far off appearing like a mount
Of alabaster, topt with golden spires:
There on the highest pinnacle he set
The Son of God, and added thus in scorn. 550

There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright Will ask thee skill; I to thy father's house Have brought thee', and highest plac'd, highest u Now show thy progeny; if not to stand, [best, Cast thyself down; safely, if Son of God: For it is written, He will give command Concerning thee to his angels, in their hands They shall uplift thee, lest at any time Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.

To whom thus Jesus: also it is written, 560 Tempt not the Lord thy God r he said and stood ■ But Satan smitten with amazement fell.

As when Earth's son Antaeui (to compare
Small things with greatest) in Irassa strove
With Jove's Akides, and oft foil'd still rose
Receiving from his mother Earth new strength,
Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple join'd,
Throttled at length in th' air, expir'd and. fell;
So after many a foil the Tempter proud,
Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride 570
Fell whence he stood to see his victor fall.
And as that Theban monster that propos'd
Her riddle, and him who solv'd it not devour'd,
That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spite
Cast herself headlong from th' Ismenian steep;
So, struck with dread and anguish, fell the Fiend,
And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought
Joyless triumphals of his hop'd success,
Ruin, and desperation, and dismay,
Who durst so proudly tempt theSon of God. 580
So Satan fell ; and strait a fiery globe
Of angels on full sail of wing flew nigh,
Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft
From his uneasy station, and up-bore
As on a floating couch through the blithe air,
Then in a flow'ry valley sat him down
On a green bank, and set before him spread
A table of celestial food, divine,
Ambrosial fruits fetch'd from the tree of Life,
And from the fount of Life ambrosial drink, 590
That soon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd
What hunger, if aught hunger had impair'd
Mil Ton Vol, m. e

Or thirst; and as he fed, angelic quires
Sung heav'nly anthems of his victory
Over temptation, and the Tempter proud.

True image of the Father, whether thron'd
In the bosom of Bliss, and light of light
Conceiving, or remote from Heav'n, inshrin'd
In fleshly tabernacle, and human form,
Wand'ring the wilderness, whatever place, 601
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with.God-like force indued
Against th' atlempter of thy Father's throne,
And thief of Paradise; him long of old
Thou didst debel, and down from Heaven cast
With all his army, now thou hast aveng'd
Supplanted Adam, and by vanquishing
Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
And frustrated the conquest fraudulent:
He never more henceforth will dare set foot 610
In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke:
For though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
A fairer Paradise is founded now
For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou
A Saviour art come down to re-instal
Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be,
Of Tempter and temptation without fear.
But thou, infernal Serpent, shall not long
Rule in the clouds; like an autumnal star
Or light'ningthou shalt fall from Heav'n, trod down
Under his feet: for proof, erethis thou feel'st 621
Thy wound, yet not thy last and deadliest wound,
By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
No triumph; in all her gates Abaddon met
Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe
To dread the Son of God: he all unarm'd
Shall chase thee with the terror of his voice
From thy demoniac holds, possession foul,
Thee and thy legions; yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine, 63#
Lest he command them down into the Deep
Bound, and to torment sent before their time.
Hail Son of the Most High, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work
Now enter, and begin to save mankind.

Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek Sung victor, and from heav'nly feast refresh'd Brought on his way with joy; he unobserv'd Home to his mother's house private return'd.


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