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النشر الإلكتروني

To Balaam reprobate, a prophet yet
Infpir'd; difdain not fuch access to me.

To whom our Saviour with unalter'd brow.
Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope,
I bid not or forbid; do as thou find'st

Permiffion from above: thou canst not more.
He added not; and Satan bowing low

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diffimulation, disappear'd

Into thin air diffus'd: for now began

Night with her fullen wings to double-shade

The defart, fowls in their clay nests were couch'd; And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam.



EAN while the new baptis'd, who yet remain'd
At Jordan with the baptift, and had seen

Him whom they heard fo late exprefly call'd
Jefus Meffiah Son of God declar'd,

And on that high authority had believ❜d,

And with him talk'd, and with him lodg'd, I mean
Andrew and Simon, famous after known,

With others, though in holy writ not nam❜d,
Now miffing him their joy fo lately found,
So lately found, and fo abruptly gone,
Began to doubt, and doubted many days,
And as the days increas'd, increas'd their doubt:
Sometimes they thought he might be only fhewn,
And for a time caught up to God, as once
Mofes was in the mount, and miffing long




And the great Thisbite who on fiery wheels
Rode up to heav'n, yet once again to come.
Therefore as those young prophets then with care
Sought lost Elijah, fo in each place thefe
Nigh to Bethabara; in Jericho

The city of palms, Ænon, and Salem old,
Machaerus, and each town or city wall'd
On this fide the broad lake Genezaret,
Or in Perea, but return'd in vain.

Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek,

Where winds with reeds and ofiers whisp'ring play,
Plain fisher-men, no greater men them call,
Clofe in a cottage low together got,

Their unexpected lofs and plaints out-breath'd.
Alas, from that high hope to what relapse
Unlook'd-for are we fall'n! our eyes beheld
Meffiah certainly now come, fo long
Expected of our fathers; we have heard

His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth;
Now, now, for fure, deliverance is at hand,
The kingdom fhall to Ifrael be restor❜d:
Thus we rejoic'd, but foon our joy is turn'd
Into perplexity and new amaze:

For whither is he gone, what accident
Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire
After appearance and again prolong
Our expectation? God of Ifrael,

Send thy Meffiah forth, the time is come;
Behold the kings of th' earth how they opprefs
Thy chofen, to what height their pow'r unjust
They have exalted, and behind them caft

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All fear of thee; arise and vindicate

Thy glory, free thy people from their yoke:
But let us wait; thus far he hath perform'd,
Sent his anointed, and to us reveal'd him
By his great prophet, pointed at and shown
In publick, and with him we have convers'd;
Let us be glad of this, and all our fears
Lay on his providence; he will not fail,
Nor will withdraw him now, nor will recal,
Mock us with his bleft fight, then snatch him hence:
Soon we shall see our hope, our joy return.

Thus they out of their plaints new hope resume
To find whom at the first they found unfought;
But to his mother Mary, when she saw
Others return'd from baptifm, not her fon,
Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none;
Within her breast, though calm; her breast, though pure.
Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd
Some troubled thoughts, which she in fighs thus clad.
O what avails me now that honour high
To have conceiv'd of God, or that falute,
Hail highly favour'd, among women blest;
While I to forrows am no lefs advanc'd,
And fears as eminent, above the lot
Of other women, by the birth I bore;
In fuch a season born when scarce a fhed
Could be obtain'd to fhelter him or me
From the bleak air; a ftable was our warmth,
A manger his, yet soon enforc'd to fly
Thence into Egypt, till the murd'rous king
Were dead, who fought his life, and miffing fill'd

With infant-blood the streets of Bethlehem;
From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many years, his life
Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,
Little suspicious to any king; but now
Full grown to man, acknowledg'd, as I hear,
By John the baptist, and in publick shown,
Son own'd from heaven by his father's voice:
I look'd for fome great change; to honour? no,
But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Ifrael, and to a sign

Spoken against, that through my very foul
A fword shall pierce, this is my favour'd lot,
My exaltation to afflictions high;

Afflicted I may be, it seems, and bleft;

I will not argue that, nor will repine.

But where delays he now? fome great intent
Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had seen,
I loft him, but fo found, as well I faw

He could not lofe himself; but went about
His father's business; what he meant I mus'd,
Since understand; much more his abfence now
Thus long to fome great purpose he obscures.
But I to wait with patience am inur'd;
My heart hath been a store-houfe long of things
And fayings laid up, portending strange events.

Thus Mary pond'ring oft, and oft to mind
Recalling what remarkably had pass'd
Since first her falutation heard, with thoughts
Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling:

The while her fon tracing the defart wild,
Sole, but with holiest meditations fed,
Into himself defcended, and at once
All his great work to come before him fet;
How to begin, how to accomplish best
His end of being on earth, and mission high.
For Satan with fly preface to return

Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone
Up to the middle region of thick air,
Where all his potentates in council fate;
There without sign of boast, or sign of joy,
Sollicitous and blank he thus began.

Princes, heav'n's ancient fons, aetherial thrones,
Demonian spirits now, from th' element
Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'd
Pow'rs of fire, air, water, and earth beneath,

So may we hold our place and these mild feats
Without new troubles; such an enemy

Is rifen to invade us, whom no less

Threatens our expulfion down to hell;

I, as I undertook, and with the vote

Confenting in full frequence was impower'd,

Have found him, view'd him, tafted him, but find

Far other labour to be undergon

Than when I dealt with Adam first of men,

Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,
However to this man inferior far,

If he be man by mother's fide at least,

With more than human gifts from heav'n adorn'd..
Perfections abfolute, graces divine,

And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.

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