Billeder på siden

"To treat thee as beseems, and as her Lord 335 With honor, only deign to fit and cat. He spake no dream, for as his words had

end, Our Saviour lifting up his eyes beheld In ample space under the broadest shade A table richly spread, in regal mode, 340 With dishes pild, and meats of noblest sort And favor, beasts of chase, or fowl of game, In pastry built, or from the spit, or boild, Gris-amber steam'd; all fish from sea or shore, Freshet, ur purling brook, of shell or fin, 345 And exquisitest name, for which was drain'd Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast, Alas how simple, to these cates compar'd, Was that crude apple that diverted Eve! And at a stately fide-board by the wine

350 That fragrant smell diffus'd , in order stood Tall stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue Than Ganymed or Hylas; distant more Under the trees now tripp’d, now folemn stood Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades - 355 With fruits and flow’rs from Amalthea's horn, And ladies of th' Hesperides, that seem'd Fairer than feign’d of old, or fabled since Of faery damsels met in forest wide By knights of Logres, or of Lyones,

360 Lancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore: And all the while harmonious airs were heard

[ocr errors]

Of chiming strings, or charming pipes, and

winds Of gentlest gale Arabian odors fann'd From their soft wings, and Flora's earliest


365 Such was the splendor, and the Tempter now His invitation earnestly renew'd.

What doubts the Son of God to fit and eat? These are not fruits forbidden; no interdict Defends the touching of these viands pure; 370 Their taste no knowledge works at least of evil, But life preserves, destroys life's enemy, Hunger, with sweet restorative delight, All these are Spi'rits of air, and woods, and

springs, Thy gentle ministers, who come to pay 375 Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their

Lord: What doubt'st thou Son of God ? fit down and

eat. 'To whom thus Iesus temp?rately reply'd. Said'st thou not that to all things I had right? And who withholds my pow'r that right to


380 Shall I receive by gift what of my own, When and where likes me best, I can com.

mand? I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou, Command a table in this wilderness,

[ocr errors]

And call swift flights of Angels ministrant 385
Array'd in glory on my cup to attend :
Why shouldst thou then obtrude this diligence,
In vain, where no acceptance it can find ?
And with my hunger what haft thou to do?
Thy pompous delicacies I contemn, 390
And count thy specious gifts no gifts brut guiles.

To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent,
That I have also pow'r to give thou leeft;
If of that pow'r I bring thee voluntary
What I might have bestow'd on whom 1


395 And rather opportunely in this place Chose to impart to thy apparent need. Why shouldst thou not accept it? but I see What I can do or offer is fufpect; Of these things others quickly will dispose, 400 Whose pains have earn’d the far fet spoil.

With that Both table and provifion vanish'd quite With sound of harpies wings, and talons

heard ; Only th' importune Tempter still remainid, And with these words his temptation pur


405 By hunger, that each other creaturc tames, Thou art not to be harm'd, therefore not

mov'd; Thy temperance invincible befides,

[ocr errors]

For no allurement yields to appetite,
And all thy heart is set on high designs, 410
High actions; but wherewith to be achiev'd ?
Great acts require great means of enterprise;
Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of birth,
A carpenter thy father known, thyself
Bred up in poverty and straits at home, 415
Loft in a defert here and hunger.bit :
Which way or from what hope dost thou aspire
To greatness ? whence authority deriv'st?
What followers, what retinue canst thou gain,
Or at thy heels the dizzy multitude, 420
Longer than thou canst feed them on thy.

cost? Money brings honor, friends, conquest, and

realms: What rais'd Antipater the Edomite, And his son Herod plac'd on Juda's throne, (Thy throne) but gold that got him puillant

friends ?

425 Therefore, if at great things thon would'st ar

rive, Get riches first, get wealth, and treasure heap, Not difficult, if thou hearken to me; Riches are mine, fortune is in my hand; They whom I favor, thrive in , wealth


430 While virtue, valor, wisdom fit in want. To whom thus Jesus patiently reply'd.




Yet wealth without these three is impotent
To gain dominion, or to keep it gain’d.
Witness those ancient empires of the earth, 435
In highth of all their flowing wealth dillolv'd:
But men indued with these have oft attain'd
In lowest poverty to highest deeds;
Gideon, and Jephtha, and the shepherd lad,
Whole offspring on the throne of Judah


440 So many ages, and Chail yet regain That seat, and reign in Israel without end. Among the Heaihen, (for throughout the world To me is not unknown, what hath been done Worthy' of memorial) canst thou not remem


445. Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus ? For I esteem those names of men so poor Who could do migthy things, and could con

temn Riches though offer'd from the hand of kings. And what in me seeme wanting, {butthat I 450

May also in this poverty as soon • Accomplish what they did, perhaps and

more? Extol not riches then, the toil of fools, 'The wise man's cumbranceifnot snare, more apt To slaken virtue, and abate her edge, 455 Than prompt her to do ought may 'merit



« ForrigeFortsæt »