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But shelter'd Nept in vain, for at his head
The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams
Disturb’d his sleep; and either Tropic now
'Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the Clouds
From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd 411
Fierce rain with lightning mixt, water with fire
In ruine reconcild: nor slept the winds
Within thir ftony caves, but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell
On the vext Wilderness, whose tallest Pines,
Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest Oaks
Bow'd their Stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts,
Or torn up sheer : ill wast thou shrouded then,
O patient Son of God, yet only stoodst
Unshaken; nor yet staid the terror there,
Infernal Ghosts, and Hellish Furies, round
Environ’d thee, some howld, some yelld, some

Some bent at thee thir fiery darts, while thou
Sat'st unappallid in calm and finless

peace. Thus pass’d the night so foul till morning fair Came forth with Pilgrim steps in amice gray; Who with her radiant finger still’d the roar Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the winds, And grisly Spectres, which the Fiend had rais'd To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire. 431 And now the Sun with more effectual beams Had cheard the face of Earth, and dry'd the wet From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds Who all things now behold more fresh and green, After a night of storm so ruinous, Clear'd


their choicest notes in bush and spray



To gratulate the sweet return of morn;

yet amidst this joy and brightest morn
Was absent, after all his mischief done,
The Prince of darkness, glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came,
Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
Rather by this his last affront resolvid,
Desperate of better course, to vent his rage,
And mad despight to be so oft repell’d.
Him walking on a Sunny hill he found,
Back’d on the North and West by a thick wood,
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape ;
And in a careless mood thus to him said.

Fair morning yet betides thee Son of God,
After a dismal night; I heard the rack
As Earth and Skie would mingle ; but my

Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear
As dangerous to the pillard frame of Heaven, [them
Or to the Earths dark basis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable,
And harmless, if not wholsom, as a sneeze
To mans less universe, and soon are gone;
Yet as being oft times noxious where they light
On man, beast, plant, wastful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in the affairs of men,
Over whose heads they rore, and seem to point,
They oft fore-signifie and threaten ill :
This Tempest at this Desert most was bent;
Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell’ft.
Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
The perfet season offer'd with my aid
To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong

459 470


All to the push of Fate, persue thy way
Of gaining David's Throne no man knows when,
For both the when and how is no where told,
Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt;
For Angels have proclaim'd it, but concealing
The time and means : each act is rightliest done,
Not when it must, but when it may be best.
If thou observe not this, be sure to find,
What I foretold thee, many a hard assay
Of dangers, and adversities and pains,
E're thou of Israel's Scepter get fast hold;
Whereof this ominous night that clos’d thee round,
So many terrors, voices, prodigies
May warn thee, as a sure fore-going sign.

So talk'd he, while the Son of God went on
And staid not, but in brief him answer'd thus.

Mee worse then wet thou find'st not; other harm Those terrors which thou speak'st of, did me none I never fear'd they could, though noising loud And threatning nigh; what they can do as figns Betok’ning, or ill boding, I contemn As false portents, not sent from God, but thee; Who knowing I shall raign past thy preventing, Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I accepting At least might seem to hold all power of thee, Ambitious spirit, and wouldst be thought my God, And storm'ft refus’d, thinking to terrifie Mee to thy will; desist, thou art discern'd And toil'st in vain, nor me in vain molest.

To whom the Fiend now swoln with rage reply'd: Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born; For Son of God to me is yet in doubt,




Of the Mefliah I have heard foretold
By all the Prophets ; of thy birth at length
Announc't by Gabriel with the first I knew,
And of the Angelic Song in Bethlehem field,
On thy birth-night, that sung thee Saviour born.
From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye
Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,
Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred;
Till at the Ford of Jordan whither all
Flock'd to the Baptist, I among the rest,
Though not to be Baptiz’d, by voice from Heav'n
Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God belov’d.
Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view
And narrower Scrutiny, that I might learn
In what degree or meaning thou art call’d
The Son of God, which bears no single sence;
The Son of God I also am, or was,
And if I was, I am; relation stands;
All men are Sons of God; yet thee I thought
In some respect far higher so declar'd.
Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,
And follow'd thee still on to this wast wild;
Where by all best conjectures I collect
Thou art to be


Good reason then, if I before-hand seek
To understand my Adversary, who
And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent,
By parl, or composition, truce, or league
To win him, or win from him what I can.
And opportunity I here have had
To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found thee
Proof against all temptation as a rock





Of Adamant, and as a Center, firm
To the utmost of meer man both wise and good,
Not more; for Honours, Riches, Kingdoms, Glory
Have been before contemn'd, and may agen :
Therefore to know what more thou art then man,
Worth naming Son of God by voice from Heav'n,
Another method I must now begin.

So saying he caught him up, and without wing
Of Hippogrif bore through the Air sublime
Over the Wilderness and o're the Plain;
Till underneath them fair Jerusalem,
The holy City lifted high her Towers,
And higher yet the glorious Temple rear'd
Her pile, far off appearing like a Mount
Of Alabaster, top't with golden Spires :
There on the highest Pinacle he set
The Son of God; and added thus in scorn:

There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright
Will ask thee skill; I to thy Fathers house
Have brought thee, and highest plac't, highestis best,
Now shew thy Progeny ; if not to stand,
Cast thy self down; safely if Son of God :
For it is written, He will give command
Concerning thee to his Angels, in thir hands
They shal]

up lift thee, lest at any time
Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.
To whom thus Jesus: also it is written,

Tempt not the Lord thy God, he said and stood.
But Satan smitten with amazement fell
As when Earths Son Antæus (to compare
Small things with greatest) in Irasa strove
With Joves Alcides, and oft foild still rose,


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