صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Ambitious Spirit, and wouldst be thought my God,
And ftorm'ft refus'd, thinking to terrify

Me to thy will; defift, thou art discern'd
And toil'ft in vain, nor me in vain moleft.


To whom the Fiend now fwoln with rage reply'd.

Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born;


For Son of God to me is yet in doubt:

Of the Meffiah I have heard foretold
By all the Prophets; of thy birth at length
Announc'd by Gabriel with the first I knew,
And of th' angelic fong in Bethlehem field,
On thy birth-night, that fung 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
Flock'd to the Baptist, I among the rest,



Though not to be baptiz'd, by voice from Heaven
Heard thee pronounc'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 ftands;


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,

[blocks in formation]

And follow'd thee ftill on to this wafte wild;

Where by all beft 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, pow'r, intent;
By parl, or composition, truce, or league

To win him, or win from him what I can.
And opportunity I here have had


To try thee, fift thee, and confess have found thee Proof against all temptation, as a rock

Of adamant, and as a center, firm,

To th' utmost of mere man both wife and good, 535 Not more; for honors, 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 Heaven, Another method I must now begin.


So fay'ing he caught him up, and without wing Of hippogrif bore through the air fublime 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 rear'd Her pile, far off appearing like a mount Of alabafter, topt with golden fpires: There on the highest pinnacle he set

The Son of God, and added thus in scorn.




There ftand, 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 is best, Now show thy progeny; if not to stand, Cast thyself down; fafely, if Son of God: For it is written, He will give command Concerning thee to his Angels, in their hands They fhall up lift thee, left at any time




Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.
To whom thus Jefus; Alfo it is written,
Tempt not the Lord thy God: he said and ftood:
But Satan fmitten with amazement fell.
As when earth's fon Antæus (to compare
Small things with greatest) in Irassa strove
With Jove's Alcides, and oft foil'd still rofe,
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
Fell whence he ftood to fee his victor fall.
And as that Theban monster that propos'd
Her riddle', and him, who folv'd it not, devour'd,
That once found out and folv'd, for grief and spite
Caft herself headlong from th' Ifmenian fteep; 575
So ftruck with dread and anguish fell the Fiend,
And to his crew, that fat confulting, brought
Joyless triumphals of his hop'd fuccess,

F 3



Ruin, and defperation, and dismay,

Who durft so proudly tempt the Son of God. 580 So Satan fell; and ftrait a fiery globe

Of Angels on full fail of wing flew nigh,

Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft
From his uneafy station, and upbore

As on a floting couch through the blithe air,
Then in a flow'ry valley fet him down
On a green bank, and set before him spread
A table of celeftial food, divine,
Ambrofial fruits, fetch'd from the tree of life,
And from the fount of life ambrofial drink,
That foon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd
What hunger, if ought hunger had impair'd,
Or thirft; 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 bofom of bliss, and light of light
Conceiving, or remote from Heav'n, infhrin'd
In fleshly tabernacle, and human form,
Wand'ring the wilderness, whatever place,
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with God-like force indued
Against th' attempter of thy Father's throne,
And thief of Paradise; him long of old





Thou didst debel, and down from Heaven cast 605 With all his army, now thou hast aveng'd


Supplanted Adam, and by vanquishing
Temptation, haft regain'd loft Paradise;
And fruftrated the conquest fraudulent:
He never more henceforth will dare fet foot
In Paradise to tempt; his fnares are broke:
For though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
A fairer Paradife is founded now


For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou

A Saviour art come down to re-install


Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be,

Of Tempter and temptation without fear.

But thou, infernal Serpent, fhalt not long
Rule in the clouds; like an autumnal star



Or lightning thou fhalt fall from Heav'n, trod down.
Under his feet: for proof, ere this thou feel'st
Thy wound, yet not thy laft and deadliest wound,
By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
No triumph; in all her gates Abaddon rues
Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe
To dread the Son of God: he all unarm'd
Shall chace thee with the terror of his voice
From thy demoniac holds, poffeffion foul,
Thee and thy legions; yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of fwine,
Left he command them down into the deep
Bound, and to torment fent before their time.
Hail Son of the most High, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work
F 4



« السابقةمتابعة »