Imatges de pÓgina

Not wilfully misdoing, but unaware

Misled; the stubborn only to subdue, [ceiving,
These growing thoughts my mother soon per
By words at times cast forth, inly rejoic'd,
And said to me apart, High are thy thoughts,
O son, but nourish them, and let them soar
To what highth sacred virtue and true worth
Can raise them, though above example high ;
By matchless deeds express thy matchless Sire,
For know, thou art no son of mortal man';
Though men esteem thee low of parentage,
Thy father is the eternal King who rules
All heaven and earth, angels and sons of men;
A messenger from God foretold thy birth
Conceiv'd in me a virgin; he foretold

Thou shouldst be great, and sit on David's throne,
And of thy kingdom there shall be no end.
At thy nativity, a glorious quire

Of angels, in the fields of Bethlehem, sung
To shepherds, watching at their folds by night,
And told them the Messiah now was born,
Where they might see him ; and to thee they came,
Directed to the manger where thou layest,
For in the inn was left no better room:
A star, not seen before, in heaven appearing,
Guided the wise men thither from the East,
To honour thee with incense, myrrh, and gold ;
By whose bright course led on they found the place,
Affirming it thy star, new-graven in heaven,
By which they knew the king of Israel born.
Just Simeon and prophetic Anna, warn’d
By vision, found thee in the temple, and spake,
Before the altar and the vested priest,
Like things of thee to all that present stood.'


"This having heard, straight I again revolv'd The law and prophets, searching what was writ Concerning the Messiah, to our scribes Known partly, and soon found of whom they spake I am; this chiefly, that my way must lie

Through many a hard assay, even to the death,
Ere I the promis'd kingdom can attain,

Or work redemption for mankind, whose sins
Full weight must be transferr'd upon my head.
Yet, neither thus dishearten'd, nor dismay'd,
The time prefix'd I waited; when behold
The Baptist, (of whose birth 1 oft had heard,
Not knew by sight,) now come, who was to come
Before Messiah, and his way prepare!`

1, as all others, to his baptism came,

Which I believ'd was from above; but he
Sight knew me, and with loudest voice proclaim'
Me him, (for it was shown him so from heaven,)
Me him, whose harbinger he was ; and first
Refus'd on me his baptism to confer,

As much his greater, and was hardly won :
But, as I rose out of the laving stream,
Heaven open'd her eternal doors, from whence
The Spirit descended on me like a dove ;
And last, the sum of all, my Father's voice,
Audibly heard from heaven, pronounc'd me his,
Me his beloved Son, in whom aloneTM

He was well pleas'd; by which I knew the time
Now full, that I no more should live obscure,
But openly begin, as best becomes 6731
The authority which I deriv'd from heaven.
And now by some strong motion I am led
Into this wilderness, to what intent

I learn not yet; perhaps I need not know,
For what concerns my knowledge God reveals..
So spake our Morning-star, then in his rise,
And, looking round, on every side beheld
A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades:
The way he came not having mark'd, return
Was difficult, by human steps untrod ;

And he still on was led, but with such thoughts
Accompanied of things past and to come
Lodg'd in his breast, as well might recommend
Such solitude before choices, society.

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Full forty days he pass'd, whether on hili
Sometimes, anon on shady vale, each night
Under the covert of some ancient oak,

Or cedar, to defend him from the dew,
Or harbour'd in one cave, is not reveal'd ;
Nor tasted human food, nor hunger felt,
Till those days ended: hunger'd then at last
Among wild beasts: they at his sight grew mild,
Nor sleeping him nor waking harm'd; his walk
The fiery serpent fled and noxious worm,
The lion and fierce tiger glar'd aloof;
But now an aged man in rural weeds,
Following, as seem'd, the quest of some stray ewe,
Dr wither'd sticks to gather, which might serve
Against a winter's day, when winds blow keen,
To warm him wet return'd from field at eve,
He saw approach, who first with curious eye
Perus'd him, then with words thus utter'd spake :
"Sir, what ill chance hath brought thee to this
So far from path or read of men, who pass [place,
In troop or caravan 3 for single none

Durst ever, who return'd, and dropt not here
His carcass, pin'd with hunger and with drought.

I ask the rather, and the more admired

For that to me thou seem'st the man, whom late
Our new baptizing prophet at the ford 471
Of Jordan honour'd so, and call'd the Son
Of God: I saw and heard, for we sometimes
Who dwell this, wild, constrain'd by want, com
forthy teri yaa entis

To town or village nigh, (nighest is far,)
Where aught we hear, and curious are to hear,
What happens new; fanie also finds us out."

To whom the Son of God: Who brought me hither,

Will bring me hence; no other guide 1 seek." "By miracle he may,” replied the swain: What other way I see not; for we here


tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'a

More than the camel, and to drink go far,
Men to much misery and hardship born';'
But, if thou be the Son of God, command
That out of these hard stones be made thee bread
So shalt thou save thyself, and us relieve a
With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste."
He ended, and the Son of God replied: [ten,
Think'st thou such force in bread? Is it not writ
(For I discern thee other than thou seem'st,)
Man lives not by bread only, but each word
Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed
Our fathers here with manna? In the mount
Moses was forty days, nor eat nor drank;
And forty days Elijah, without food,

Wander'd this barren waste: the same I now :
Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust,
Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art ?"
Whom thus answer'd the arch fiend, now un-
disguised: 1991197sar (

"'Tis true I am that spirit unfortunate,
Who, leagued with millions more in rash revolt,
Kept not my happy station, but was driven
With them from bliss to the bottomless deep
Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd
By rigour unconniving, but that oft,
Leaving my dolorous prison, I enjoy
Large liberty to round this globe of earth,
Or range in the air; nor from the heaven of heavens
Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.

I came among the sons of God, when he
Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job

To prove him, and illustrate his high worth;
And, when to all his angels he propos'd
To draw the proud king Ahab into fraud,
That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
I undertook that office, and the tongues
Of all his flattering prophets glibb'd with lies
To his destruction, as I had in charge;
For what he bids I do. Though I have lost

Much lustre of my native brightness, lost
To be belov'd of God, I have not lost apos
To love, at least contemplate and admire,
What I see excellent in good, or fair,

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Or virtuous; I should so have lost all sense:
What can be then less in me than desire t
To see thee, and approach thee, whom I know
Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent
Thy wisdom, and behold thy godlike deeds?;
Men generally think me much a foe
To all mankind why should I? they to me I
Never did wrong or violence: by them)
f lost not what I lost, rather by them

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I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell
Copartner in these regions of the world,
If not disposer; lend them oft my aiden sie
Oft my advice by presages and signs,
And answers, oracles, portents, and dreams,
Whereby they may direct their future life.
Envy, they say, excites me, thus to gain
Companions of my misery and woe.rel
At first it may be but long since with woe
Nearer acquainted, now I feel by proof,
That fellowship in pain divides no smart, t
Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load.
Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd
This wounds me most, (what can it less ?) that man,
Man fallen, shall be restor'd; I never more.
To whom our Saviour sternly thus replied:
Deservedly thou grievest, compos'd of lies
From the beginning, and in lies wilt end

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Who boast'st release from hell, and leave to come
Into the heaven of heavens : thou comest indeed
As a poor miserable captive thrall spa
Comes to the place where he before had sat
Among the prime in splendour, now depos'd,
Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shunn'd,
A spectacle of ruin or of scorn

To all the host of heavenst the happy place

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