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To wish thou never hadît rejected thus
So say’ing he took (for still he knew his power Not yet expir'd) and to the wilderness
395 Brought back the Son of God, and left him there, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, As day-light funk, and brought in louring night Her Madowy ofspring, unsubstantial both, Privation mere of light and absent day. 400 Our Saviour meek and with untroubled mind After his aery jaunt, though hurried fore, Hungry and cold betook him to his reft, Wherever, under some concourse of shades, 404 Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd might shield From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head, But shelter'd slept in vain, for at his head The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams Disturb'd his sleep ; and either opic now 409 'Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the clouds
From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd
Had cheard the face of earth, and dry'd the wet
And mad despite to be so oft repellid.
aid To win thy deitin'd leat, but wilt prolong All to the push of fate, pursue thy way Of gaining David's throne no man knows when, For both the when and how is no where told, Thou thalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt ; For Angels have proclam'd it, but concealing The time and means : each act is rightlieft done, 475 Not when it muit, but when it may be beít. If thou oblerve not this, be sure to find, Vrat I foretold thee, many a hard assay Of dangers, and adversities, and pains, Ere thou of Israel's scepter get fast hold; 480
Whereof this ominous night that clos'd thee round,
So talk'd he, while the Son of God went on And stay'd not, but in brief him answer'd thus. 485
Me worse than wet thou find'it 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 signs Betokening, or ill boding, I contemn
490 As false portents, not sent from God, but thee; Who knowing I shall reign past thy preventing, Obtrud ft thy offer'd aid, that I accepting At least might seem to hold all pow'r of thee, Ambitious Spi'rit, and wouldst be thought my God, And storm'st refus’d, thinking to terrify Me to thy will ; defift, thou art discern’d And toil'st in vain, nor me in vain moleft.
To whom the Fiend now swoln with rage reply'd. Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born ; 500 For Son of God to me is yet in doubt: Of the Messiah I have heard foretold By all the Prophets ; of thy birth at length Announc'd by Gabriel with the first I knew, And of th’angelic song in Bethlehem field, 505 On thy birth-night, that sung thee Saviour born. From that time seldom have I ceasd 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
SIO Flock'd to the Baptist, I among the reit, Though not to be baptiz’d, by voice from Heaven Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God beloy'd. Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view And narrower scrutiny, that I might learn
Then in a flow'ry valley set him down
True Image of the Father, whether thron'd In the bosom of bliss, and light of light Conceiving, or remote from Heav'n, inshrin'd 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 indued Against th’attempter of thy Father's throne, And thief of Paradise; him long of old Thou didit debel, and down from Heaven 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 fons, 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 .