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But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Ifraël, and to a fign
Spoken against, that through my very loul 90
A sword shall pierce; this is my favor'd lot,
My exaltation to alllictions high;
AMicted I may be, it seems, and blest;
I will not argue that, nor will repine.
But where delays he now? some great in-

95 Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce

had seen, I loft him, but so found, as well I saw He could not lose himself; but went about His Father's business; what he meant I mus’d, Since understand; much inore his absence

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Thus long to some great purpose he obfcures.
But I to wait with patience am inur’d;
My heart hath been a store - house long of

things And say'inge laid up, portending strange events. Thus Mary pond'ring oft, and oft to mind

105 Recalling, what remarkably had pass'd Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling: The white her son tracing the desert wild, Sole but with holiest meditations fed,

110

120

Into himself descended, and at once
All his great work to come before him set;
Fow to begin, how to accomplish best
His end of being on earth, and million high:
For Satan with fly preface to return 115
Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone
Up to the middle region of thick air,
Where all his potentates in council sat;
There without sign of boast, or sign of joy,
Solicitous and blank he thus began.
Princes, Heav'n's ancient Sons, ethereal

Thrones,
Demonian Spirits now, from th' element
Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'd
Pow'rs of fire, air, water, and earth beneath,
So may we hold our place and these mild

seats

125 Without new trouble; such an enemy Is risen to invade us, who no less Threatens than our expulsion down to Hell; I, as I undertook, and with the vote Consenting in full frequence was impo

wer'd,

130 Have found him,' view'd him, tasted him,

but find Far other labor to be undergone Than when I dealt with Adam first of Men, Thongh Adam by his wife's allurement fell, However to this man inferior far,

135

If he be man by mother's fide at least,
With more than human gifts from Heav'n

adorn'd,
Perfections absolute, graces divine,
And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.
Therefore I am return'd, left confidence 140
Of my success with Eve in Paradise
Deceive ye to persuasion over-lure
Of like succeeding here; I summon all
Rather to be in readiness, with hand
Or counsel to assist; left I who erst 145
Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd.
So spake th' old Serpent doubting, and

from all With elamor was assur'd their utmost aid At his command; when from amidst them rose Belial, the dissolutest Spi'rit that fell, 150 The sensuallest, and After Asmodai The fleshlieft Incubus, and thus advis'd.

Set women in his eye, and in his walk, Among daughters of men the faireft found; } Many are in each region pasling fair 155 As the noon sky; more like to Goddesses Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet, Expert in amorous arts ,-inchanting tongues Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild And sweet allay'd, yet terrible t'approach, 160 Skill'd to retire, and in retiring draw Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets.

Such object hath the pow'r to soft'n and tame Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow, Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dis

solve,

165 Draw out with credulous desire, and lead At will the manlieft, resolutest breast, As the magnetic hardest iron draws. Women, when nothing else, beguil'd the heart Of wiseft Solomon, and made him build, 170 And made him bow to the Gods of his wives.

To whom quick answer Sàtan thus return'd. Belial, in much uneven scale thow weigh'st All others by thyself; because of old Thou thyself doat'dft on womankind, admi

ring

175 Their shape, their color, and attractive grace, None are, thou think'st, but taken with such

toys. Before the flood thou with thy lusty crew, Falle titled fons of God, roaming the earth Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men, 180 And coupled with them, and begot a race. Have we not seen, or by relation heard, In courts and regal chambers, how thou lurk'ft, In wood or grove by molly fountain fide, In valley or green meadow, to way lay 185 Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene, Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa, Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more

Too long, then lay'st thy scapos on names

ador'd, Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan,

190 Satir, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts Delight not all; among the fons of men, How many have with a smile made small

account Of beauty and her lures, easily scorn'd All herafaults, on worthier things intent? 195 Remember that Pellean conqueror, A youth, how all the beauties of the east He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass'd; How he firnam'd of Africa dismiss'd In his prime youth the fair Iberian maid, 200 For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full Of honor, wealth, high fare, aim'd not

beyond Higher design than to enjoy his state; Thence to the bait of women lay expos’d; But he whom we attempt, is wiser far 205 Than Solomon, of more exalted mind, Made and set wholly on th' accomplishment Of greatest things; what woman will you find, Though of this age the wonder and the fame, On whom his leisure will vouchlafe an eye 210 Of fond defire? or should the confident, As fitting queen ador'd on beauty's throne, Descend with all her winning charms begirtT' enamour, as the zone of Venus once

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