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« Of glory, as thou wilt," said he. " so deem; 150 Worth or not worth the seeking, let it pass. But to a kingdom thou art born, ordain'd To sit opon thy father David's throne, By mother's side thy father; though thy right Be now in pow'rful hands, that will not part Easily from possession won with arms: Judea now and all the promjs'd land, Reduc'd a province under Roman yoke, Obeys Tiberius; nor is always ruld With temp'rate sway; oft have they violated 160 The temple, oft the law, with foul affronts. Abominations rather, as did once Antiochus : and think'st thou to regain Thy right by sitting still or thus retiring? So did not Maccabeus: he indeed
165 Retir'd unto the desert, but with arms; And o'er a mighty king so oft prevaild, That by strong hand his family obtain'd, Though priests, the crown, and David's throne usurp'd, With Modin and her suburbs once content. 170 If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal And duty; zeal and duty are not slow, But on occasion's forelock watchful wait: They themselves rather are occasion best; Zeal of thy father's house, duty to free
To whom our Saviour answer thus return'd.
By tribulations, injuries, insults,
190 Contempts, and scorns, and snares, and violence, Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting, Without distrust or doubt, that he may know What I can suffer, how obey? who best Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first 195 Well hath obey'd; just trial, ere I merit My exaltation without change or end. But what concerns it thee when I begin My everlasting kingdom? why art thou Solicitous? what moves thy inquisition?
200 Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall, And my promotion will be thy destruction ?"
To whom the Tempter, inly rack'd, reply'd. “Let that come when it comes; all hope is lost of my reception into grace: what worse?
205 For where no hope is left, is left no fear: If there be worse, the expectation more of worse torments me than the feeling ean. I would be at the worst : worst is my port, My harbour, and my ultimate repose: The end I would attain, my final good. My error was my error, and my crime My crime ; whatever, for itself condemn'd; And will alike be punish'd, whether thou Reign or reign not; though to that gentle brow 215 Willingly could I fly, and hope thy reign,. . From that placid aspect and meek regard, Rather than aggravate my evil state, Would stand between me and thy Father's ire (Whose ire I dread more than the fire of Hell A shelter, and a kind of shading cool Interposition, as a summer's cloud. If I then to the worst that can be haste, Why move thy feet so slow to what is best Happiest, both to thyself and all the world, 225 That thou, who worthiest art, should'st be their king? Perhaps thou linger'st, in deep thoughts detain'd of th' enterprise so hazardous and high : No wonder; for though in thee be united
What of perfection can in man be found,
240 Timorous and loth, with novice modesty. (As he who, seeking asses, found a kingdom) Irresolute, unhardy, unadventurous : But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes 245 The monarchies of th' earth, their pomp and state; Sufficient introduction to intorm Thee, of thyself so apt, in regal arts, And regal mysteries; that thou may'st know How best their opposition to withstand." 280
With that (such pow'r was giv'n him then) he took The Son of God up to a mountain high, It was a mountain, at whose verdant feet A spacious plain, out-stretch'd in circuit wide, Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flow'd, 255 The one winding, th' other straight, and left between Fair champain with less rivers interveind, Then meeting join'd their tribute to the sea : Fertile of corn the glebe, of oil, and wine ; 259 With herds the pastures throng'd, with flocks the hills; Huge cities and high tow'r'd, that well might seem The seats of mightiest monarchs; and so large The prospect was, that here and there was room For barren desert, fountainless and dry. To this high mountain top the Tempter brought 265 Our Saviour, and new train of words began.
"Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale, Forest and field and flood, temples and towers, Cüt shorter many a league; here thou behold'st
Assyria, and her empire's ancient bounds,
300 Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid He marches now in haste; see, though from far, His thousands, in what martial equipage They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms, 305 Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit; All horsemen, in which fight they most excel : See how in warlike muster they appear, In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and wings."
He look'd, and saw what numbers numberless 310 The city gates out-pour'd, light armed troops, In coats of mail and military pride; In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong, Prancing their riders bore, the flow'r and choice Of many provinces from bound to bound; From Arachosia, from Candaor east, And Margiana to the Hyrcanian cliffs of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales; From Atropatia and the neighb'ring plains Of Adiabene, Media, and the south
320 Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven, He saw them in their forms of battle rangid, How quick they wheeld, and, fly'ing, behind them shot Sharp sleet of arrowy show'rs against the face . of their pursuers, and orercame by flight; 325 The field all iron cast a gleaming brown: Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn Cuirassiers all in steel for standing fight, Chariots, or elephants indors'd with towers Of archers; nor of lab'ring pioneers
339 A multitude, with spades and axes arm'd To lay bills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill, Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke; Mules after these, camels and dromedaries, 335 And waggons, fraught with útensils of war. Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp. When Agrican with all his northern powers Besieg'd Albracca, as romances tell, The city' of Gallaphrone, from whence to win 340 'The fairest of her sex Angelica, His daughter, sought by many prowest knights, Both Paynim, and the peers of Charlemain. Such and so numerous was their chivalry : At sight whereof the Fiend yet more presum'd, 345 And to our Saviour thus his words renewid.
“That thou may'st know I seek not to engage Thy virtue, and not every way secure On no slight grounds thy safety; hear, and mark,