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To God more glory, more good-will to men
From God, and over wrath grace shall abound.
But say, if our Deliverer up to Heaven
Must reascend, what will betide the few
His faithful, left among the unfaithful herd,
The enemies of truth Who then shall guide
His people, who defend ? Will they not deal
Worse with his followers than with him they dealth"
“Be sure they will,” said the angel; “but from
Heaven
He to his own a Comforter will send,
The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
His Spirit within them; and the law of faith,
Working through love, upon their hearts shall write,
To guide them in all truth: and also arm
With spiritual armor, able to resist
Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts;
What man can do against them, not afraid,
Though to the death; against such cruelties i.
With inward consolations recompens'd,
And oft supported so as shall amaze
Their proudest persecutors; for the Spirit,
Pour'd first on his Apostles, whom he sends \
To evangelize the nations, then on all
Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue
To speak all tongues, and do all miracles,
As did their Lord before them. Thus they win
Great numbers of each nation to receive
With joy the tidings brought from Heaven: at length
Their ministry perform'd, and race well run,
Their doctrine and their story written left,
They die; but in their room, as they forewarn,
Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves,
Who all the sacred mysteries of Heaven
To their own vile advantages shall turn
Of lucre and ambition ; and the truth
With superstitions and traditions taint, -
Left only in those written records pure,
Though not but by the Spirit understood.
Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
Places, and titles, and with these to join
Secular power; though feigning still to act
By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
The Spirit of God, promis'd alike, and given -
To all believers; and, from that pretence,
Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force
On every conscience; laws which none shall find
Left them enroll'd, or what the spirit within -
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
But force the Spirit of grace itself, and bind
His consort Liberty? what, but unbuild
His living temples, built by faith to stand,
Their own faith, not another's for, on Earth,
Who against faith and conscience can be heard
Infallible yet many will presume:
Whence heavy persecution shall arise
On all, who in the worship persevere
Of spirit and truth; the rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion satisfied; Truth shall retire
Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of faith
Rarely be sound: so shall the world go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign :
Under her own weight groaning; till the day
Appear of respiration to the just,
And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid,
The woman's Seed ; obscurely then foretold,
Now amplier known thy Savior and thy Lord;
Last, in the clouds, from Heaven to be reveal’d

In glory of the Father, to dissolve
Satan with his perverted world; then raise
From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
New Heavens, new Earth, ages of endless date,
Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love;
To bring forth fruits, joy, and eternal bliss.”
He ended; and thus Adam last replied.
“How soon hath thy prediction, seer blest,
Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fix'd : Beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart;
Greatly in peace of thought; and have my fill
Of knowledge what this vessel can contain;
Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
Hencesorth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God; to walk
As in his presence; ever to observe

|His providence; and on him sole depend,

Merciful over all his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek: that suffering for truth's sake
Is fortitude to highest victory,
And, to the faithful, death, the gate of life;
Taught this by his example, whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.”
To whom thus also the angel last replied.
“This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum
Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all the ethereal powers
All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works,
Or works of God in Heaven, air, earth, or sea,
And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst,
And all the rule, one empire; only add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith,
Add virtue, patience, temperance; add love,
By name to come call'd charity, the soul
Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loth
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
A Paradise within thee, happier far.—

| Let us descend now therefore from this top

Of speculation; for the hour precise
Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards,
By me encamp'd on yonder hill, expect
Their motion ; at whose front a flaming sword,
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round:
We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
Her also I with gentle dreams have calm'd
Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd
To meek submission: thou, at season fit,
Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard ;
Chiefly, what may concern her faith to know,
The great deliverance by her seed to come
(For by the woman's seed) on all mankind:
That ye may live, which will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous, though sad,
With cause for evils past; yet much more cheer'd
With meditation on the happy end.”
He ended, and they both descend the hill;
Descended, Adam to the bower, where Eve
Lay sleeping, ran before: but sound her wak'd;
And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd.
“Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, 1
know ;
For God is also in sleep; and dreams advise,
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress

Wearied I fell asleep; but now lead on ;

In me is no delay; with thee to go,
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Art all things under Heaven, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
This further consolation yet secure
I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Such favor I unworthy am vouchsafd,
By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore.”
So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard
Well pleas'd, but answer'd not: for now, too nigh
The archangel stood; and from the other hill
To their fix’d station, all in bright array
The cherubim descended; on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
Ris'n from a river o'er the marish glides,
And gathers ground fast at the laborer's heel,
Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd
The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd,
Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
And vapor as the Libyan air adust,
Began to parch that temperate clime; whereat
In either hand the hastening angel caught
Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast
To the subjected plain; then disappear'd.
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
Of paradise, so late their happy seat,
Wav'd over by that flaming brand; the gate
With dreadful faces throng'd, and fiery arms:
Some natural tears they dropt, but wip'd them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose Q
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.

PARADISE REGAINED. BOOK I.

THE ARGUMENT.

The subject proposed. Invocation of the Holy Spirit—The poem opens with John baptizing at the river Jordan. Jesus coming there is baptized; and is attested, by the descent of the Holy Ghost, and by a voice from Heaven, to be the Son of God. Satan, who is present, upon this immediately flies up into the regions of the air; where, summoning his infernal council, he acquaints them with his apprehensions that Jesus is that seed of the Woman, destined to destroy all their power, and points out to them the immediate necessity of bringing the matter to proos, and of attempting, by snares and fraud, to counteract and defeat the person, from whom they have so much to dread. This office he offers himself to undertake ; and, his offer being accepted, sets out on his enterprise.—In the mean time God, in the assembly of holy angels, declares that he has given up his Son to be tempted by Satan; but foretells that the tempter shall be completely defeated by him —upon which the angels sing a hymn of triumph. Jesus is led up by the Spirit into the wilderness, while he is meditating on the commencement of his great office of Savior of man

kind. Pursuing his meditations he narrates, in a soliloquy, what divine and philanthropic impulses he had felt from his early youth, and how his mother Mary, on perceiving these dispositions in him, had acquainted him with the circumstances of his birth, and informed him that he was no less a person than the Son of God; to which he adds what his own inquiries and refleetions had

supplied in confirmation of this great truth, and particularly dwells on the recent attestation of it at the river Jordan. Our Lord passes forty days, fasting, in the wilderness, where the wild beasts become mild and harmless in his presence. Satan now appears under the form of an old peasant; and enters into discourse with our Lord, wondering what could have brought him alone into so dangerous a place, and at the same time professing to recognize him for the person lately acknowledged by John, at the river Jordan, to be the Son of God. Jesus briefly replies. Satan rejoins with a description of the difficulty of supporting life in the wilderness; and entreats Jesus, if he be really the Son of God, to manifest his divine power, by changing some of the stones into bread. Jesus reproves him, and at the same time tells him that he knows who he is. Satan instantly avows himself, and offers an artful apology for himself and his conduct. Our blessed Lord severely reprimands him, and refutes every part of his justification. Satan, with much semblance of humility, still endeavors to justify himself; and, professing his admiration of Jesus and his regard for virtue, requests to be permitted at a future time to hear more of his conversation; but is answered, that this must be as he shall find permission from above Satan then disappears, and the book closes with a short description of night coming on in the desert.

I, who erewhile the happy garden sung
By one man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
By one man's firm obedience fully tried
Through all temptation, and the tempter foil'd
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.
Thou Spirit, who ledd'st this glorious eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field,
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence
By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute,
And bear through height or depth of Nature's
bounds, -
With prosperous wing full summ'd, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,
And unrecorded left through many an age;
Worthy to have not remain'd so long unsung.
Now had the great proclaimer, with a voice
More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried
Repentance, and Heaven's kingdom nigh at hand
To all baptiz'd : to his great baptism flock'd
With awe the regions round, and with them came
From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd
To the flood Jordan; came, as then obscure,
Unmark'd, unknown; but him the Baptist soon
Descried, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heavenly office ; nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd : on him baptiz'd
Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove

The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice
From Heaven pronounc'd him his beloved Son.
That heard the adversary, who, roving still
About the world, at that assembly fam'd
Would not be last, and, with the voice divine
Nigh thunder-struck, the exalted man, to whom
Such high attest was given, awhile survey'd
With wonder; then, with envy fraught and rage,
Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air
To council summons all his mighty peers,
Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
A gloomy consistory; and then amidst,
With looks aghast and sad, he thus bespake.
“O ancient powers of air, and this wide world,
(For much more willingly I mention air,
This our old conquest, than remember Hell,
Our hated habitation,) well ye know
How many ages, as the years of men,
This universe we have possess'd, and rul’d,
In manner at our will, the affairs of Earth,
Since Adam and his facile consort Eve
Lost Paradise, deceiv'd by me; though since
With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head. Long the decrees of Heaven
Delay, for longest time to him is short;
And now, too soon for us, the circling hours
This dreaded time have compass'd, wherein we
Must bide the stroke of that long-threaten’d wound,
(At least if so we can, and by the head
Broken be not intended all our power
To be infringd, our freedom and our being
In this fair empire won of Earth and air.)
For this ill news I bring, the woman's seed
Destin'd to this, is late of woman born.
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause:
But his growth now to youth's full flower, displaying
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve
Things highest, greatest multiplies my fear.
Before him a great prophet, to proclaim
His coming, is sent harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the consecrated stream
Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them, so
Purified, to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honor as their king: all come,
And he himself among them was baptiz'd ;
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony of Heaven, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I saw
The prophet do him reverence; on him, rising
Out of the water, Heaven above the clouds
Unfold her crystal doors: thence on his head
A perfect dove descend, (whate'er it meant.)
And out of Heaven the sovran voice I heard,
‘This is my Son belov'd, in him am pleas'd.”
His mother then is mortal, but his Sire
He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven:
And what will he not do to advance his Son?
His first-begot we know, and sore have felt,
When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep:
Who this is we must learn, for Man he seems
In all his lineaments, though in his face
The glimpses of his Father's glory shine.
Ye see our danger on the utmost edge
Of hazard, which admits no long debate,
But must with something sudden be oppos'd,
(Not force, but well-couch'd fraud, well-woven
snares,)
Ere in the head of nations he appear,
Their king, their leader, and supreme on Earth.

I, when no other durst, sole undertook
The dismal expedition to find out
And ruin Adam; and the exploit perform'd
Successfully: a calmer voyage now
Will waft me; and the way, found prosperous once,
Induces best to hope of like success.”
He ended, and his words impression left
Of much amazement to the infernal crew,
Distracted, and surpris'd with deep dismay
At these sad tidings; but no time was then
For long indulgence to their fears or grief;
Unanimous they all commit the care
And management of this main enterprise
To him, their great dictator, whose attempt
At first against mankind so 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 coast of Jordan he directs
His easy steps, girded with snaky wiles,
Where he might likeliest find this new-declar'd,
This Man of men, attested Son of God,
Temptation and all guile on him to try;
So to subvert whom he suspected rais'd
To end his reign on Earth, so long enjoy'd :
But, contrary, unweeting he fulfill'd
The purpos'd council, preordain’d and fix’d,
Of the Most High ; who, in full frequence bright
Of angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake. -
“Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold,
Thou and all angels conversant on Earth
With man or men's affairs, how I begin
To verify that solemn message, late
On which I sent thee to the virgin pure
In Galilee, that she should bear a Son,
Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God;
Then told'st her, doubting how these things could be
To her a virgin, that on her should come
The Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest
O'ershadow her. This man, born and now
grown,
To show him worthy of his birth divine
And high prediction, henceforth I expose
To Satan; let him tempt, and now assay
His utmost subtlety, because he boasts
And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng
Of his apostacy: he might have learnt
Less overweening, since he fail'd in Job,
Whose constant perseverance overcame
Whate'er his cruel malice could invent.
He now shall know I can produce a man,
Of female secul, far abler to resist
All his solicitations, and at length
All his vast force, and drive him back to Hell;
Winning, by conquest, what the first man lost,
By fallacy surprisd. But first I mean
To exercise him in the wilderness;
There he shall first lay down the rudiments
Of his great warfare, ere I send him forth
To conquer Sin and Death, the two grand foes,
By humiliation and strong sufferance:
His weakness shall o'ercome Satanic strength
And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh,
That all the angels and ethereal powers,
They now, and men hereafter, may discern,
From what consummate virtue I have chose
This perfect man, by merit call'd my Son,
To earn salvation for the sons of men.”
So spake the Eternal Father, and all Heaven

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Admiring stood a space, then into hymns Burst forth, and in celestial measures mov’d, Circling the throne and singing, while the hand Sung with the voice, and this the argument. “Victory and triumph to the Son of God, Now entering his great duel, not of arms, But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles! The Father knows the Son; therefore secure Ventures his filial virtue, though untried, Against whate'er may tempt, whate'er seduce, Allure, or terrify, or undermine. Be frustrate, all ye stratagems of Hell, And, devilish machinations, come to nought !” So they in Heaven their odes and vigils tun'd : Meanwhile the Son of God, who yet some days Lodg'd in Bethabara, where John baptiz'd, Musing, and much revolving in his breast, How best the mighty work he might begin Of Savior to mankind, and which way first Publish his godlike office now mature, One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading And his deep thoughts, the better to converse With solitude, till, far from track of men, Thought following thought, and step by step led on, He enter'd now the bordering desert wild, And, with dark shades and rocks environ'd round, His holy meditations thus pursued. “O, what a multitude of thoughts at once Awakened in me swarm, while I consider What from within I feel myself, and hear What from without comes often to my ears, Ill sorting with my present state compar'd : When I was yet a child, no childish play To me was pleasing; all my mind was set Serious to learn and know, and thence to do What might be public good; myself I thought Born to that end, born to promote all truth, All righteous things; therefore, above my years, The law of God I read, and sound it sweet, Made it my whole delight, and in it grew To such perfection, that, ere yet my age Had measur'd twice six years, at our great feast I went into the temple, there to hear The teachers of our law, and to propose What might improve my knowledge or their own; And was admir’d by all : yet this not all To which my spirit aspir'd; victorious deeds Flam'd in my heart, heroic acts; one while To rescue Israel from the Roman yoke, Then to subdue and quell, o'er all the Earth, Brute violence and proud tyrannic power, Till truth were freed, and equity restor'd : (, Yet held it more humane, more heavenly first By winning words to conquer willing hearts, | And make persuasion do the work of fear; “At least to try, and teach the erring soul, Wot wilfully misdoing, but unaware Misled; the stubborn only to subdue. These growing thoughts my mother soon perceiving, By words at times cast forth, inly rejoic'd, And said to me apart, “High are thy thoughts, O son, but nourish them, and let them soar To what height sacred virtue and true worth Can raise them, though above example high; By matchless deeds express thy matchless sire, For know, thou art no son of mortal man; Though men esteem thee low of parentage, Thy father is the Eternal King who rules All Heaven and Earth, angels and sons of men; A messenger from God foretold thy birth

Conceiv'd in me a virgin; he soretold,
Thou shouldst be great, and sit on David's throne,
And of thy kingdom there should be no end.
At thy nativity, a glorious quire
Of angels, in the fields of Bethlehem, sung
To shepherds, watching at their folds by night,
And told them the Messiah now was born,
Where they might see him, and to thee they came,
Directed to the manger where thou lay'st,
For in the inn was left no better room :
A star, not seen before, in Heaven appearing,
Guided the wise men thither from the east,
To honor thee with incense, myrrh and gold;
By whose bright course led on they found the place,
Affirming it thy star, new-graven in Heaven,
By which they knew the king of Israel born.
Just Simeon and prophetic Anna, warn'd
By vision, found thee in the temple, and spake,
Before the altar and the vested priest,
Like things of thee to all that present stood."—
This having heard, straight I again revolv'd
The law and prophets, searching what was writ
Concerning the Messiah, to our scribes
Known partly, and soon found, of whom they spake
I am ; this chiefly, that my way must lie
Through many a hard assay, even to the death,
Ere I the promis'd kingdom can attain,
Or work redemption for mankind, whose sins'
Full weight must be transferr'd upon my head.
Yet, neither thus dishearten'd or dismay’d,
The time prefix'd I waited ; when behold
The Baptist, (of whose birth I of had heard,
Not knew by sight,) now come who was to come
Before Messiah, and his way prepare!
I, as all others, to his baptism came,
Which I believ'd was from above; but he
Straight knew me, and with loudest voice proclaim'd
Me him, (for it was shown him so from Heaven,)
Me him, whose harbinger he was ; and first
Refus'd on me his baptism to conser,
As much his greater, and was hardly won:
But, as I rose out of the laving stream,
Heaven open'd her eternal doors, from whence
The Spirit descended on me like a dove;
And last, the sum of all, my Father's voice,
Audibly heard from Heaven, pronounc'd me his,
“Me his beloved Son, in whom alone
He was well pleas'd; by which I knew the time
Now full, that I no more should live obscure,
But openly begin, as best becomes
The authority which I deriv'd from Heaven.
And now by some strong motion I am led
Into this wilderness, to what intent
I learn not yet; perhaps I need not know,
For what concerns my knowledge God reveals.”
So spake our Morning-star, then in his rise,
And, looking round, on every side beheld
A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades;
The way he came not having mark'd, return
Was difficult, by human steps untrod;
And he still on was led, but with such thoughts
Accompanied of things past and to come
Lodg'd in his breast, as well might recommend
Such solitude before choicest society.
Full forty days he pass'd, whether on hill
Sometimes, anon on shady vale, each night
Under the covert of some ancient oak,
Or cedar, to defend him from the dew,
Or harbor'd in one cave, is not reveal’d,
Nor tasted human food, nor hunger felt

Till those days ended; hunger'd then at last
Among wild beasts: they at his sight grew mild,
Nor sleeping him nor waking harm'd; his walk
The fiery serpent fled and noxious worm,
The lion and fierce tiger glar'd aloof
But now an aged man in rural weeds,
Following, as seem’d, the quest of some stray eve,
Or wither'd sticks to gather, which might serve
Against a winter's day, when winds blow keen,
To warm him wet return'd from field at eve,
He saw approach, who first with curious eye
Perus'd him, then with words thus utter'd spake.
“Sir, what ill chance hath brought thee to this
place
So far from path or road of men, who pass
In troop or caravant for single none
Durst ever, who return'd, and dropt not here
His carcass, pin'd with hunger and with drought.
I ask the rather, and the more admire,
For that to me thou seem'st the Man, whom late
Our new baptizing prophet at the ford
Of Jordan honor'd so, and call'd thee Son
Of God: I saw and heard, for we sometimes
Who dwell this wild, constrain'd by want, come
forth
To town or village nigh, (nighest is far.)
Where aught we hear, and curious are to hear,
What happens new; same also finds us out."
To whom the Son of God. “Who brought me
hither,
Will bring me hence; no other guide I seek."
“By miracle he may,” replied the swain;
“What other way I see not; for we here
Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd
More than the camel, and to drink go far,
Men to much misery and hardship born:
But, if thou be the Son of God, command
That out of these hard stones be made thee bread,
So shalt thou save thyself and us relieve
With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste.”
He ended, and the Son of God replied.
“Think'st thou such force in bread 2
written,
(For I discern thee other than thou seem'st)
“Man lives not by bread only, but each word
Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed
Our fathers here with manna?" in the mount
Moses was forty days, nor eat nor drank;
And forty days Elijah, without food,
Wander'd this barren waste: the same I now:
Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust,
Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art?”
Whom thus answer'd the arch-fiend, now undis-
guis’d.
“"Tis true I am that Spirit unfortunate,
Who, leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt,
Kept not my happy station, but was driven
With them from bliss to the bottomless deep,
Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd
By rigor unconniving, but that of,
Leaving my dolorous prison, I enjoy
Large liberty to round this globe of earth,
Or range in the air; nor from the Heaven of
Heavens
Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.
I came among the sons of God, when he
Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job
To prove him, and illustrate his high worth;
And, when to all his angels he propos'd
To draw the proud King Ahab into fraud ,

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That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
I undertook that office, and the tongues
Of all his flattering prophets glibb'd with lies
To his destruction, as I had in charge;
For what he bids I do. Though I have lost
Much lustre of my native brightness, lost
To be belov'd of God, I have not lost
To love, at least contemplate and admire, |
What I see excellent in good, or fair,
Or virtuous; I should so have lost all sense:
What can then be less in me than desire
To see thee and approach thee, whom I know
Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent
Thy wisdom, and behold thy godlike deeds?
Men generally think me much a foe
To all mankind: why should I? they to me
Never did wrong or violence; by them
I lost not what I lost, rather by them
I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell
Copartner in these regions of the world,
If not disposer; lend them oft my aid,
Oft my advice by presages and signs,
And answers, oracles, portents, and dreams,
Whereby they may direct their future life.
Envy they say excites me, thus to gain
Companions of my misery and woe.
At first it may be ; but, long since with woe
Nearer acquainted, now I feel, by proof,
That fellowship in pain divides not smart,
Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load.
Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd:
This wounds me most, (what can it less!), that Man
Man fall'n shall be restor'd, I never more.”
To whom our Savior sternly thus replied.
“Deservedly thou griev'st, compos'd of lies
From the beginning, and in lies wilt end;
Who boast'st release from Hell, and leave to come
Into the Heaven of Heavens: thou com'st indeed
As a poor miserable captive thrall
Comes to the place where he before had sat
Among the prime in splendor, now depos'd,
Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shunn'd,
A spectacle of ruin, or of scorn,
To all the host of Heaven: the happy place
Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy,
Rather inflames thy torment: representing
Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable,
So never more in Hell than when in Heaven.
But thou art serviceable to Heaven's King.
Wilt thou impute to obedience what thy fear
Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites?
What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem
Of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him
With all inflictions? but his patience won.
The other service was thy chosen task,
To be a liar in four hundred mouths;
For lying is thy sustenance, thy food.
Yet thou pretend'st to truth; all oracles
By thee are given, and what confess'd more true
Among the nations? that hath been thy craft,
By mixing somewhat true to vent more lies.
But what have been thy answers, what but dark,
Ambiguous, and with double sense deluding,
Which they who ask'd have seldom understood,
And not well understood as good not known 7
Who ever by consulting at thy shrine
Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct,
To fly or follow what concern'd him most,
And run not sooner to his fatal snare?
For God hath justly given the nations up

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