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Would stand between me and thy Father's ire
Perhaps thou lingerest in deep thoughts detained
The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory,
The Son of God up to a mountain high.
Fair champaign with less rivers interveined,
Huge cities and high towered, •hat well might seem
"Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale,
And oft beyond: to south the Persian bay
And, inaecessible, the Arabian drought:
Here Nineveh, of length within her wail
Several days' journey, built by Minus old.
Of that first golden monarehy the seat,
And scat of Salmanassar, whose suecess
Israel in long captivity still mourns;
There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues.
As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice
Judah and all thy father David's house
Led captive, and Jerusalem laid waste,
Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis,
His city, there thou seest, and Bactra there i
Eebatana her structure vast there shows,
And HecaUmipyios her hundred gates;
There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream,
The drink of none but kings; of later fame,
Built by Emathian or by Parthian hands,
The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there
Artaxata, Tererlon, Ctesiphon,
Turning with easy eye thou mayest behold.
All these the Parthian (now some ages pott
By great Arsaecs led, who founded first
That empire) under his dominion holds,
From the luxurious kings of Antioch won.
And just in time thou comest to have a view
Of his great power; for now the Parthian king
In Ctes.iphon hath gathered all his host
Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild
Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid
He marehes now in haste; see, though from far,
His thousands, in what martial equipage
They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms
Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit;
Al l horsemen, in which fight they most excel:
See how in warlike muster they appear,
In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and
He looked, and saw what numbers numberleM The city gates outpourod, light armed troops, In coats of mail and military pride; In mail their norses clad, yet fleet and strong, Prancing their riders bore, the flower and choice Of many provinces from beund to bound; From Arachosia, from Candaor cast, And Margiana to the Hyreanian cliffs Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales; From Atropatia and the neighbouring plams Of Adiabene, Media, and the south Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven. He saw them in their forms of battle ranged, How quick they wheeled, and, flying, behind thea
Sharp sleet of arrowy showers against the face
Of aimers; nor of labouring pioneers
"That thou may'st know I seek not to engage
"Much ostentation, vain of fleshy arm
Satan persisting in 1t,e temptation of our Lord, shows him Knrerial Rome in its greatest pomp and splendour, as a power which he probnbly would prefer before that of tite Parthian?; and tells him that ho nuL-la with the greatest ease expel Tibestus, restore the Romans to their liberty, and make himself anaster not only of the Roman empire, but by Bo doing of the whole world, and inclusively of the throne of David. Our Lord, in reply, expresses his contempt of grandeur and worldly power, notices the luxury, vanity, and profligacy of the Romans, declaring how liltle they merited to be restored to that liberty, which they had lost by their misconduct, and briefly refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. Satan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his prcflired gifts, professes that the only terms, on which he will bestow them, are our Saviour's falling down and worshipping him. Our Lord expresses a firm but temperate Indignation at such a proposition, and rebukes the Tempter by the title of "Satan for ever damned." Satan, abashed, attempts to Iustify himself; he then assumes a new ground of temptation, and, proposing to Jesos the Intellectual gratifications of wisdom and knowledse, points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient learning, Athens, its schools, and other various resorts of learn•d teachers and their disciples; aecompanying the view with a highly-finished panegyric on the Grecian musicians, poets, orators, and philosophers nf the different sects. Jesus replies, by showing the vanity ,,nd insufficiency of the boasted Heathen phtl'wphy; and prefers to the musie, poetry, eloquence, and dtdactic policy of the Greeks, those of the inspired Hebrew writers. Satan, irritated at the failure of all his attempts, upbraids the indiseretion of our Saviour In reIecting his offers; and having, in ridicule of his expected kingdom, foretold the suflerings that wtr fx,nl was to undergo, carries him hack into the wilderness, and leaves him there. Night comeson: Satan raises a tremendous storm, and attempts further to alarm Jesus with frigl,'fui nreams,and terrifie threatening spectres; which however have no effect upon him. A calm, bright, beautiful morning sncrc«ls to the hnrntrs of the night. Satan again presents hinwlf in our blessed I.ord,nnd, from noticing the storm of the prrmli, !•_' nizlu ::..' pointed chiefly at him, takes oecasion once more to insult him with an aecount of the sufferings which he was certainly to undenro. This n:tly draws from our Ix,nl a brit-f rebuke. Satan, now at the heiglu of his deseeration, confesses that he hatl frequently watehed Jesvin from his birth, purpnsrly to discover if he was the true Mtwiah; and, collecting from what passed at the river Jordan that he most prxbably was so, he had from that time more assiduously followed him, in hopes of gaining some advantage over htm, which wo,dd most effectually prove that he was not really that IV,vine Person cestined to be his "fatal Enemy." In this he acknowledges that he has hitherto completely failed; but still determines to make one more trial of him. Acc1trd!ngly he conveys him to the Temple at Jerusalem, and, placing him on a pointed eminence, requlres him to prove his Divinity euher by -rtandinc there, or costing himsclfdown with safety. Our I/tnl reproves the TemIKer, and at the same lime manifests his own Divinity by standing on this dangerous point. Ka,an, amazed and terrified, instantly falls; and repairs lo his Infernal comoeers, to relate the bad suecess of his enterprise. \ngeb in the mean time convey our blessed I/,rd to a beautiful valley, nnd, wtnte they miniver to him a repast of celestiai t wJ, celebrate hia victory in a triumphant hymn.
Perplexed ainl troubled at his bad suceess The tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
Discovered in his fraud, thrown from his hope
From cold septentrion blasts; thence in the mids
ardrns and groves presented to hia eyes.
"The city which thou seest no other deem
Thet.ce to the gates cast round thine eye, anu see
What conflux issuing forth, or entering in;
Praters, proconsuls to th'eir provinces
Hasting, or on return, in robes of stnte;
Lictora and rods, the ensigns of their power,
Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wines:
Or embassies from re>kons far remote;
In various habits, on the Appian road,
Or on the Emilian; some from farthest south,
Syer.e, and where the shadow both way falls,
Meroe, Nilotic isle, and, more to west,
The realm of Bocehus to the Black-moor sen,
From the Asian kings, and Parthian among these;
From India and the golden Chersonese,
And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,
Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreathed;
From Gallia, Gades, and I he British west;
Germans, and Sythians, and Sarmatians, nnr>h
Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool.
All nations now to Rome obedience pay;
To Rome's great emperor, whose wide domain,
In ample territory, wealth, and power,
Civility of manners, arts, and arms,
And long renown, thou justly mayest prefer
Before the Parthians. These two thrones except,
The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
Shared among petty kings too far removed;
These having shown thee, I have shown thee all
The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
This emperor hath no son, and now is old,
Old and lascivious, and from Rome retired
To Caprere, an island small, but strong,
On the Campanian shore, with purpose there
His horrid lusts in private to enjoy,
Committing to a wicked favourite
All public cares, and yet of him suspicious;
Hated of all, and hating. With what ease,
Indued with regal virtues as thou art,
Appearing, and beginning noble deeds,
Might'st thou expel this monster from his throne,
Now made a sty; and, in his plare ascending,
A victor people free from servile yoke!
And with my help thou mayest; to me the power
Is given, and by that right 1 give it thec.
Aim therefore at no less than all the world;
Aim at the highest; without the highest attained,
Will be for thec no sitting, or not long,
On David's throne, be prophesied what will."
To whom the Son of God, unmoved, replied. tt P<or doth this grandeur and majestic show Ofl'ixury, though called magnificence, Mote than of arms before, allure mine eye, Much less my mind ; though thou shouldst add to
Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts
Crystal, and myrrhine cups, emlxMsed with gems
And studs of pearl; to me should'st tell, whothint
And hunger still. Then embassies thou showest
From nations far and nigh: what honour that,
But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear
So many hollow compliments and lies,
Outlandish flatteries? Then proceed'st to talk
Of the emperor, how easily subdued,
How gloriously: I shull, thou sayest, expel
A brutish monster; what if I withal
Expel a devil who first made him such?
Let his tormentor conscience find him out;
For him I was not sent; nor yet to free
That people, victor once, now vile and base;
Deservedly made vassal, who, onec just,
Frugal, and mild, and temperate, conquered well,
But govern ill the nations under yoke,
Peeling their provinces, exhausted all
By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown
Of triumph, that insulting vanity;
Then eruel, by their sports to blood inured
Of fighting heasts, and men to beasts exposed;
Luxurious by their wealth, ainl greedier still,
And from the daily scene effeminate.
What wise and valiant man would seek to free
These, thus degenerate, by themselves enslaved 7
Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
Know therefore, when my season comes to sit
On David's throne, it shall be like a tree
Spreading and overshadowing all the earth;
Or as a stone, that shall to pieces dash
All monarchies besides throughout the world,
And of my kingdom there shall be no end;
Means there shall bo to this; but what the means,
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell."
To whom the Tempter, impudent, replied.
Whom thus our Saviour answered with disdain.
And darest thou to the Son of God propound To worship thee aecursed, now more aecursed For this attempt, bolder than that on Eve, And more blasphemous? which expert to rue. The kingdoms of the world to thee were given? Permitted rather, and by thee usurped; Other donation none thou canst produce. 'If given, by whom but by the King of kings God over all supreme? if given to thee, By thee how fairly is the giver now Repaid! But gratitude in thee is lost Long since. Wert thou so void of fear or shame, As offer them to me, the Son of God? To me my own, on such abhorred pact, That I fall down and worship thee as God? Get thee behind me; plain thou now appearest That evil one, Satan for ever damned."
To whom the Fiend, with fear abashed, replied: "Be not so sore offended, Son of God, Though Sons of God both angels are and men, If I, to try whether in higher sort Than these thou bearest that title, have proposed What both from men and angels I receive, Tetrarehs of fire, air, flood, and on the earth, Nations beside from all the quartered winds, God of this world invoked, and world beneath: Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold To me most fatal, me it moot concerns. The trial hath endamaged thee no way, Rather more honoured left and more esteem; Me nought advantaged, missing what I aimed. Therefore let pass, as they are transitory, The kingdoms of this world; I shall no more Advise thee; gain them as thou canst, or not. And thou thyself seem'st otherwise inclined Than to a worldly erown, addicted more To contemplation and profound dispute, As by that early action may be judged, When slipping from thy mother's eye, thou went'st Alone into the temple, there wast found Among the gravest Babbles, disputant On points and questions fitting Moses' chair, Teaching, not taught; the childhood shows the ir:nn As morning shows the day. Be famous then By wisdom; as thy empire must extend, So let extend thy mind o'er all the world In knowledge, all things in it comprehend. All knowledge is not couched in Moses' law, The Pentateuch, or what the Prophets wrote; The Gentiles also know, and write, and teach To admiration, led by nature's light, And with the Gentiles much thou must convene, Ruling them by persuasion as thou meanest; Without their learning how wilt thou with them, Or they with thee, hold conversation meet? How wilt thou reason with them, how refute Their idolisms, traditions, paradoxes? Error by his own arms is best evinced. Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount,
Westward, much nearer by south-west, behold
Where on the Egean shore a city stands,
Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil,
Athens, the eye of Greece, and mother of arts
And eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, whore the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warhlnl notes the summer long;
There flowery hill Hymettus, with the sound
Of bees' industrious murmur, oft invites
To studious musing; there Ilissus rolls
His whispering stream: within the walls, the*
The schools of ancient sages; his, who bred
To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied: