صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][merged small]



Who ere while the happy garden fung,
By one man's disobedience loft, now fing
Recover'd Paradife to all mankind,

By one man's firm obedience fully try'd
Through all temptation, and the tempter foil'd
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the wafte wilderness.

Thou Spirit, who ledft this glorious Eremite
Into the defart, his victorious field

Against the fpiritual foe, and brought'ft him thence 10
By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou are wont, my prompted fong, elfe mute,
And bear through height or depth of nature's bounds
With profperous wing full fumm'd, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in fecret done,

And unrecorded left through many an age,
Worthy t'have not remain'd fo long unfung.

[ocr errors]

Now had the great proclaimer with a voice More awful than the found of trumpet, cry'd Repentance, and heaven's kingdom nigh at hand 20 To all baptiz'd: to his great baptifm flock'd. With awe the regions round, and with them came From Nazareth the fon of Jofeph deem'd, To the flood Jordan came, as then obfcure, Unmarkt, unknown; but him the baptist foon Defcry'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore As to his worthier, and would have refign'd



To him his heavenly office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd: on him baptiz'd
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a dove
The Spirit defcended, while the father's voice
From heav'n pronounc'd him his beloved fon.

That heard the adverfary, who roving still
About the world; at that affembly fam'd
Would not be last, and with the voice divine
Nigh thunder-ftruck, th' exalted man, to whom
Such high atteft was giv'n, a while furvey'd
With wonder, then with envy, fraught, and rage,
Flies to his place, nor refts, but in mid air
To council fummons all his mighty peers,
Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
A gloomy confiftory; and them amidst
With looks agaft and fad he thus befpake.

O antient pow'rs of air and this wide world,
For much more willingly I mention air,
This our old conqueft, than remember hell
Our hated habitation: well ye know
How many ages, as the years of me
This univerfe we have poffeft, and rul'd
In manner at our will th' affairs of earth,
Since Adam and his facil confort Eve

Loft paradife deceiv'd by me, though fince
With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the feed of Eve
Upon my head; long the decrees of heav'n
Delay, for longest time to him is fhort;






And now too foon for us the circling hours

This dreaded time have compaft, wherein we

Muft bide the ftroak of that long threatned wound,

At least if fo we can, and by the head


Broken be not intended all our power

<*To be infring'd,, our freedom and our being,
In this fair empire won of earth and air;
For this ill news I bring, the woman's feed
Deftin'd to this, is late of woman born,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


His birth to our juft fear gave no fmall caufe,
But his growth now to youth's full flow'r, difplaying
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to atchieve
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my
Before him a great prophet, to proclaim
His coming, is fent harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the confecrated stream
Pretends to wash off fin, and fit them fo
Purifi'd to receive him pure, or rather

To do him honour as their king; all come,
And he himself among them was baptiz'd,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The teftimony of heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I faw
The prophet do him reverence, on him rifing
Out of the water, heav'n above the clouds
Unfold her chrystal doors, thence on his head
A perfect dove defcend, whate'er it meant,
And out of heav'n the fov'reign voice I heard,
This is my fon belov'd, in him am pleas'd.
His mother then is mortal, but his fire,
He who obtains the monarchy of heav'n;
And what will he not do t' advance his fon
"His first-begot we know, and fore have felt,

When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep;
Who this is we muft learn, for man he feems
In all his lineaments, though in his face
The glimpfes of his father's glory fhine;
Ye fee our danger on the utmost edge
At Of hazard, which admits no long debate,
But muft with fomething fudden be oppos'd,







[ocr errors]

*Not force, but well couch'd fraud, well woven fnares, Ere in the head of nations he appear

Their king, their leader, and fupream on earth.

I, when no other durft, fole undertook

The difmal expedition to find out

And ruin Adam, and th' exploit perfarm'd
Successfully; a calmer voyage now


Will waft me; and the way found profp'rous
Induces beft to hope of like fuccefs.

He ended, and his words impreffion left
Of much amazement to th' infernal crew,
Distracted and furpriz'd with deep dismay
At these fad tidings; but no time was tlen
For long indulgence to their fears or grief:
Unanimous they all commit the care
And management of this main enterprize
To him their great dictator, whofe attempt
At first against mankind fo well had thriv'd
In Adam's overthrow, and led their march
From hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light,
Regents and potentates, and kings, yea gods
Of many a pleasant realm and province wide.
So to the coaft of Jordan he directs
His eafie fteps; girded with fnaky wiles,
Where he might likelieft find this new-declar'd,
This man of men, attefted fon of God,
Temptation and all guile on him to try;
So to fubvert whom he fufpected rais'd
To end his reign on earth fo long enjoy'd:
But contrary unweeting he fulfill'd

The purpos'd council pre-ordain'd and fixt
Of the Most High, who in full frequence bright
Of angels, thus to Gabriel fmiling fpake.







Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold, 130 Thou and all angels converfant on earth' With man or mens affairs, how I begin To verifie that folemn meffage late, On which I fent thee to the virgin pure In Galilee, that the fhould bear a fon Great in renown, and call'd the fon of God; Then toldst her, doubting how these things could be To her a virgin, that on her fhould come


The Holy-Ghost, and the power of the Highest
O'er-fhadow her: this man born and now up-grown,
To fhew him worthy of his birth divine


« السابقةمتابعة »