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Though all to hivers dash'd, th' assault renew,
Vain batt'iy, and in froth or bubbles end;
So Satan, whom repulse upon repulfe'
Met ever; and to shameful filence brought,'
Yet gives not o'er though desp’rate of success;
And his vain importunity pursues.
He brought our Saviour to the Western fide
Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
‘Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide,
Wah'd by the Southern Sea, and on the North
To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills
That screen'd the fruits of th'earch and feats of men
From cold Septentrion blasts, thence in the midst 31
Divided by a river, of whose banks
On each side an Imperial City stood,
With Tow'rs and Temples proudly elevate
On sev’n small Hills, with Palaces adorn'd, 35
Porches and Theatres, Baths, Aqueducts,
Statues and Trophics, and Triumphal Arcs,
Gardens and Groves presented to his eyes,
Above the heighth of Mountains interpos’d.
By what strange Parallax or Optick skill
40 of vision multiply'd through Air, or Glafs of Telescope, were curious to enquire : And now the Tempter thus his silence broke.
The City which thou seeft no other deem Than great and glorious Rome, Queen of the Earth So far renown'd, and with the spoils enricht of Nations; there the Capitol thou seest Above the rest lifting his stacely head
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;