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Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred ;
Till at the ford of Jordan, whither all

Flock to the Baptist, I among the rest,
(Though not to be baptiz'de) by voice from Hear'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 515
In what degree or meaning thou art call'd
The Son of God, which bears no single sense.
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 520
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 waste wild;
Where, by all best conjectures, I collect
Thou art to be my fatal enemy:

525 Good reason then, if I before-hand seek To understand my adversary, who And what he is; his wisdom, pow'r, intent; By parl or composition, truce or league, To win him, or win from him what I can: 530 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 centre firm; To th’ utmost of mere man both wise and good, 535 Not more; for honours, riches, kingdoms, glory, Have been before contemn'd, and may again : Therefore to know what more thou art than man, Worth naming Son of God by voice from Heav'n, Another method I must now begin."

540 So say'ing he caught him up, and, without wing Of hippogrif, bore through the air sublime, Over the wilderness and o'er the plain, Till underneath them fair Jerusalem, The holy city, lifted high her towers,

545 And higher yet the glorious temple rear'd Her pile, far off appearing like a mount of alabaster, topt with golden spires :

There on the highest pinnacle he set
The Son of God; and added thus in scorn. 550

* There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright
Will ask thee skill; I to thy Father's house
Have brought thee', and high’st plac'd: highest is best:
Now show thy progeny; if not to stand,
Cast thyself down; safely, if Son of God: 555
For it is written, 'He will give command
Concerning thee to his Angels, in their hands
They shall up lift thee, lest at any time
Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.""

To whom thus Jesus.“ Also it is written, 1560 "Tempt not the Lord thy God: " he said, and stood : But Satan, smitten with amazement, fell. As when Earth's son Antæus (to compare Small things with greatest) in I rassa strove With Jove's Alcides, and, oft foil'd, still rose, 565 Receiving from his mother Earth new strength, Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple joind, Throttled at length in th' air, expird and fell ; So, after many a foil, the Tempter proud, Benewing fresh assaults amidst his pride, 570 Fell whence he stood to see his victor fall: And as that Theban monster, that propos'd Her riddle', and him who solv'd it not devourd, That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spite Cast herself headlong from the Ismenian steep; 575 So, struck with dread and anguish, fell the Fiend, And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought (Joyless triumphals of his hop'd success) Ruin, and desperation, and dismay, Who dorst so proudly tempt the Son of God. 580 So Satan fell; and straight a fiery globe Of Angels on fall sail of wing flew nigh, Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft From his uneasy station, and upbore, As on a floating couch, through the blithe air; 585 Then, in a flow'ry valley, set him down On a green bank, and set before birn spread

table of celestial food, divine

Ambrosial fruits, fetch'd from the tree of life,
And, from the fount of life, ambrosial drink, 590
That soon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd
What hunger, if aught hunger, had impair'd,
Or thirst; and, as he fed, angelic quires
Sung heav'nly anthems of his victory
Over temptation and the Tempter proud. 595

* True image of the Father; whether thron'd
In the bosom of bliss, and light of light
Conceiving, or, remote from Heav'n, inshrinu
In fleshly tabernacle, and human form,
Wand'ring the wilderness ; whatever place, 600
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with God-like force endued
Against th' attempter of thy Father's throne,
And thief of Paradise! him long of old
Thou didst debel, and down from Heav'n cast 605
With all his army; now thou hast aveng'd
Supplanted Adam, and, by vanquishing
Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
And frustrated the conquest fraudulent.
He never more henceforth will dare set foot 610
In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke:
For, though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
A fairer Paradise is founded now
For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou,
A Saviour, art come down to re-install,

615 Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be, of Tempter and temptation without fear. But thou, infernal Serpent! shalt not long Rule in the clouds ; like an autumnal star, Or lightning, thou shalt fall from Heav'n, trod down Under his feet: for proof, ere this thou feel'st 621 Thy wound, (yet not thy last and deadliest wound) By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell No triumpb: in all her gates Abaddon rues Thy bold attempt. Hereafter learn with awe 625 To dread the Son of God : he, all unarm'd, Shall chase thee with the terror of his voice From thy demoniac holds, possession foul,


Thee and thy legions; yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,
Lest he command them down into the deep,
Bound, and to torment sent before their time.--
Hail, Son of the Most High, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan! on thy glorious work
Now enter, and begin to save mankind."

Thus they the Son of God, our Saviour meek,
Sung victor, and, from heav'nly feast refresh d,
Brought on his way with joy; he, unobservd,
Home to his mother's house private return'd.



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