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On the Tarpcian Rock, her Cittadel
Impregnable, and there Mount Palatine
Th' Imperial Palace, compass huge, and high
The Structure, skill of noblest Architects,
With gilded battlements, conspicuous far,
Turrets and Terrases, and glitr’ring Spires.
Many a fair Edifice besides, more like
Houses of Gods (so well I have dispos'd
My Airy Microscope) thou may’ft behold
Outside and infide both, pillars and roofs
Cary'd work, the hand of fam'd Artificers
Io Cedar, Marble, Ivory or Gold.
Thence to the Gates cast round thine eye, and see
What conflux issuing forth, or entring in,
Pretors, Proconsuls to their Provinces
Hasting or on return, in robes of State ;
Licors and rods the enligus of their pow's,'
65 Legions and Cohorts, turmes of horse and wings: Or Embassies from Regions far reniote In various habits on the Appian road, Or on th' Emilian, some from farthest South, Syene, and where the shadow both way falls, 70 Merae Nilotic ise, and more to Welt, The Realni of Bocchus to the Black-moor Sea ; From th' Afian Kings and Parthian among these, From India and the golden Chersoness, And utmost Indian ise Taprobine,
75 Dusk faces with white Gilken Turbants wreath'd : From Gallia, Gades, and the Brittilla West, Germans and Scythians, and Sarmatians North
Beyond Danubius to the Tauric Pool.
All Nations now to Rome obedience pay, 80
To Rome's great Emperor, whose wide domain
In ample Territory, wealth and pow's,
Civility of manners, Arts, and Arms,
And long Renown thou justly may’ft prefer
Before the Partbian ; these two Thrones except, 85
The rest are barb'rous, and scarce worth the lights
Shar'd among petty Kings too far remov'd;
These having thewn thce, I have thewn thee all
The Kingdoms of the World, and all their glory.
This Emp'ror hath no Son, and now is old, 90
Old and lascivious, and from Rome reti'd
To Caprea an Ifand small buc trong
On the Campanian hore, with purpose there
His horrid lufts in private to enjoy,
Committing to a wicked Favourite
All publick cares, and yet of him suspicious,
Hated of all, and haring; with what ease
Indu'd with Regal. Virtues as thou art,
Appearing and beginning noble deeds,
Mightst thou expel this Monster from his Throne
Now made a stye, and in his place ascending
A victor, people free from servile yoke?
And with my help thou may'it; to me the pow's
Is giv'n, and by that right I give it thee.
Aim therefore at no less than all the world,
Aim at the highest, without the highest attain'd
Will be for thee no sitting, or not long
On David's Throne, he prophesy'd what will.
To whom the Son of God uomov'd reply'd.
Nor doth this grandeur and majestick show IIO
of luxury, though call'd magnificence,
More than of Arms before, allure mine eye,
Much less my mind; though thou shouldft add to tell
Their sumptuous glattonies, and gorgeous feasts
On Cittrun tables or Atlantic stone,
(For I have also heard, perhaps have read)
Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
Chios and Creet, and how they quaff in Gold,
Crystal and Myrrhine cups imbos'd with Gems'
And studs of Pearl, to me thou'dit tell who thirst 120
And hunger ftill: then Embasfies thou thew'st
From Nations far and nigh; what honour that,
But tedious waste of time to fit and hear
So many hollow compliments and lies,
Outlandish flatteries ? then proceed't to talk 125
Of th’Emperor, how easily subdu'd,
How gloriously; I shall, thou say'ft, expel,
A brutish monster: what if I withal
Expel a Devil who first made him such ?
Let his tormenter 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 once just,
Frugal, and mild, and temp?rate, conquer'd well,
But govern ill the Nations under yoke, 135
Peeling their Provinces, exhausted all
But luft and rapine ; first ambitious grown
Of triumph, that insulting vanity;
Then cruel, by their sports to blood enur'da
Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts expos’d, 140 .
Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier till,
And from the daily Scene effeminate.
What wife and valiant Man would seek to free
These thus degen'rate, by themselves eollav'd,
Or could of inward Naves make outward free? 145
Know therefore when my season comes to sit
On David's Throne, it shall be like a tree,
Spreading and overshad'wing all the Earth,
Or as a ftone that shall to pieces dah
Au Monarchies besides throughout the World, 150
And of my Kiogdom there hall be no end :
Means there shall be to this, but what the means,
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell.
To whom the Tempter impudent reply'd:
I see all offers made by me how Night 155
Thou valu’ft, because offer'd, and reje&t’N:
Nothing will please the difficult and nice,
Or nothing more than still to contradict:
On th' other side know also thou, that I
On what I offer set as high esteem,
160 Nor what I part with mean to give for naught ; All these which in a moment thou behold'st, The Kingdoms of the World to thee I give ; For giv'n to me, I give to whom I please, No trifle ; yet with this reserve, not else, 165 On this condition, if thou wilt fall down, And worship me as thy superior Lord, Eally done, and hold them all of me;
For what can less so great a gift deserve ?
Whom thus our Saviour answer'd with disdain:
I never lik’d thy talk, thy offers less,
Now both abhor, since thou haft dar'd to utter
Th'abominable terms, impious condition ;
But I endure the time, till which expir’d,
Thou haft permission on me. It is written 175
The first of all Commandments, Thou fhalt worship
The Lord thy God, and only him fhalt ferve;
And darft thou to the Son of God propound
To worship thee accurlt, now more accurft
For this attempt, bolder than that on Eve, 180
And more blasphemous ? which expeâ to rue.
The Kingdoms of the World to thee were giv’n,
Permitted rather, and by thee usurp'd,
Other donation none thou canft produce:
If giv'n, by whom but by the King of Kings, 185
God over all Supreme : if givån to thec,
By thee how fairly is the Giver now
Repaid? But gratitude in thee is lost
Long lince. Wert thou fo void of fear or fame,
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 appear'ft
That Evil one, Satan for ever damo'd.
To whom the Fiend with fear abalht reply'd. 195
Be not lo sore offended, Son of God;
Though Sons of God both Angels are and Mer,
If I to try whether in higher sort