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And bear through highth or depth of nature's

bounds
With profp'rous wing full summ'd, to tell of

deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done, 15
And unrecorded left through many an age,
Worthy t have not remain'd so long unsung.
Now had the great Proclamer, with a voice
More awful than the sound of trumpet, cry'd
Repentance, and Heav'n's kingdom nigh at

hand
To all baptiz'd: to his great baptism flock'd
With awe the regions round, and with them
From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd
To the flood Jordan, came as then obfcure,
Unmark'd, unknown; but him the Baptist

soon

25
Descry'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have relign'd
To him his heav'nly office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd; on him baptiz'd
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a dove

30 The Spirit descended, while the Father's

voice
From Heav'n pronounc'd him his beloved Son.
That heard the Adversary, who roving still
About the world, at that assembly fam'd
Would not be last, and with the voice

divine

35

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Nigh thunder - struck, th' exalted man,

whom Such high attest was giv'n, a while sur

vey'd With wonder, then with envy fraught and

rage Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air To council summons all his mighty peers, 40 Within thick clouds and dark ten - fold in

volv'd' A gloomy consistory; and them amidst With looks aghast and fad he thus bespake. o ancient Pow'rs of air and this wide

world, For much more willingly I mention air, 45 This our old conqueft, than remember Hell, Our hated habitation; well ye know How many ages, as the years

of

men, This universe we have possess’d, and ruld In manner at our will th' affairs of earth, 50 Since Adam and his facil consuat Eve Lost Paradise deceiv'd by me, though since With dread attending when that fatal wound Shall be inflicted by the feed of Eve Upon my head: long the decrees. of Heav'n 55 Delay, for longest time to him is short; And now too soon for us the circling hours This dreaded time have compass’d, -wherein

we

70

Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd

wound,
At least if so we can, and by the head 60
Broken be not intended all our power
To be infringd, our freedom and our being,
In this fair empire won of earth and air;
For this ill news I bring, the woman's feed
Destin'd to this, is late of woman born: 65
His birth to our just fear gavè no small cause,
But his growth now to youth's full flow'r, dil-

playing
All virtue', grace, and wildom to achieve
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
Before him a great prophet, to proclame
His coming, is fent harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the consecrated stream
Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them Co
Purified to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honor as their king; all come, 75
And he himself among them was baptiz'd,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony of Heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I

saw
The prophet do him reverence,

on him rifing

80 Out of the water, Heav'n above the clouds Unfold her crystal doors, thence on his head

perfect dove descend, whate'er it mcant,

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And out of Heav'n the sovran voice I heard,
This is my Son belov’d, in him am pleas'd. 85
His mother then is mortal, but his fire
He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven,
And what will he not do to advance his Son?
His first-begot we know, and sore have felt,
When his fierce thunder drove us

deep;

90 Who this is we must learn, for man he seems In all his lineaments, though in his face The glimpses of his father's glory shine, Ye see our danger on the utmost edge Of hazard, which admits no long debate, 95 But must with something sudden be oppos’d, Not force, but well couch'd fraud, well wo

ven snares, Ere in the head of nations he appear Their king, their leader, and supreme on earth. I, when no other durst, Cole undertook The dismal expedition to find out And ruin Adam, and th' exploit perform’d. Successfully; a calmer voyage now Will waft me: and the way found prosp'rous

100

once

Induces best to hope of like success. 105

He ended, and his words impression left Of much amazement to th' infernal crew, Distracted and surpris’d with deep dismay At these lad tidings; but no time was then

120

For long indulgence to their fears or grief: 110
Unanimous they all commit the care:
And management of this main enterprize
To him their great dictator, whose attempt
At first against mankind so well had thriv'd
In Adam's overthrow, and led their march '115
From Hell's deep-vanlted den to dwell in light,
Regents and potentates, and kings, yea Gods
Of many a pleasant realm and province wide.
So to the coast of Jordan he directs
His easy steps, girded with snaky wiles,
Where he might likeliest find this new-de-

clar'd,
This man of men, attested Son of God,
Temptation and all guile on him to try;
So to fubvert whom he fufpected rais'd
To end his reign on earth so long enjoy’d: 125
But.contrary unwecting he fulfillid
The purpos'd counsel pre-ordain'd and fix'd
Of the most High, who in full frequence bright
Of Angels, thus to Gabriel smiling ipake.
Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt be-
hold,

130 Thou and all Angels conversant on earth With man or mens affairs, how I begin To verify that folemn mellage late, On which I sent thee to Virgin pure In Galilee, that she should bear a son 135 Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God;

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