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Admiring stood a space, then into hymns

Conceiv'd in me a virgin ; he foretold, | Burst forth, and in celestial measures mov'd, Thou shouldst be great, and sit on David's throne,

Circling the throne and singing, wbile the hand And of thy kingdoin there should be no end.
Sung with the voice, and this the argument. At thy nativity, a glorious quire

"Victory and triumph to the Son of God, Of angels, in the fields of Bethlehem, sung
Now entering his great duel, not of arms,

To shepherds, watching at their folds by night, But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles !

And told them the Messiah now was born, The Father knows the Son; therefore secure Where they might see him, and to thee they came, l'entures his filial virtue, though untried,

Directed to the manger where thou lay'st, Arunst whate 'er may tempt, whate'er seduce, For in the inn was left no better room : Allure, or terrify, or undermine.

A star, not seen before, in Heaven appearing,
Be frustrate, all ye stratagems of Hell,

Guided the wise men thither from the east,
Ard, devilish machinations, come to nought !" To honor thee with incense, myrrh and gold ;

So they in Heaven their odes and vigils tund : By whose bright course led on they found the place,
Meanwhile the Son of God, who yet some days Affirming it thy star, new-graven in Heaven,
Lodg din Bethabara, where John baptiz'd,

By which they knew the king of Israel born.
Musing, and much revolving in his breast,

Just Simeon and prophetic Anna, warn'd How best the mighty work he might begin By vision, found thee in the temple, and spake, * Savior to mankind, and which way first Before the altar and the vested priest, Publish his godlike office now mature,

Like things of thee to all that present stood.'One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading This having heard, straight I again revolv'd And his deep thoughts, the better to converse The law and prophets, searching what was writ With solitude, till, far from track of men,

Concerning the Messiah, to our scribes Thought following thought, and step by step led on, Known partly, and soon found, of whom they spake He enter'd now the bordering desert wild, I am ; this chiefly, that my way must lie And, with dark shades and rocks environd round, Through many a hard assay, even to the death, His holy meditations thus pursued.

Ere I the promis'd kingdom can attain, “0, what a multitude of thoughts at once Or work redemption for mankind, whose sins' Awakened in me swarm, while I consider Full weight must be transferr'd upon my head. What from within I feel myself, and hear Yet, neither thus dishearten'd or dismay'd, What from without comes often to my ears, The time prefix'd I waited ; when behold | sorting with my present state compar'd! The Baptist, (of whose birth I oft had heard, When I was yet a child, no childish play

Not knew by sight,) now come who was to come To me was pleasing ; all my mind was set Before Messiah, and his way prepare ! Serious to learn and know, and thence to do I, as all others, to his baptism came, What might be public good; myself I thought Which I believ'd was from above; but he Born to that end, born to promote all truth, Straight knew me, and with loudest voice proclaim'd 4.3 righteous things; therefore, above my years, Me him, (for it was shown him so from Heaven) The law of God I read, and found it sweet, Me him, whose harbinger he was; and first Made it my whole delight, and in it grew

Refus'd on me his baptism to confer,
To such perfection, that, ere yet my age

As much his greater, and was hardly won:
Had measur'd twice six years, at our great feast But, as I rose out of the laving stream,
I went into the temple, there to hear

Heaven open'd her eternal doors, from whence The teachers of our law, and to propose

The Spirit descended on me like a dove; What might improve my knowledge or their own; And last, the sum of all, my Father's voice, And was admir'd by all : yet this not all

Audibly heard from Heaven, pronounc'd me his,
To which my spirit aspir’d; victorious deeds · Me his beloved Son, in whom alone
Flam'd in my heart, heroic acts; one while He was well pleas’d; by which I knew the time
To rescue Israel from the Roman yoke,

Now full, that I no more should live obscure,
Then to subdue and quell, o'er all the Earth, But openly begin, as best becomes
Brute violence and proud tyrannic power, The authority which I deriv'd from Heaven.
Till truth were freed, and equity restord:

And now by some strong motion I am led
l'et held it more humane, more heavenly first Into this wilderness, to what intent
By winning words to conquer willing hearts, I learn not yet; perhaps I need not know,
And make persuasion do the work of fear; For what concerns my knowledge God reveals.”
Ai least to try, and teach the erring soul,

So spake our Morning-star, then in his rise, Not wilfully misdoing, but unaware

And, looking round, on every side beheld Meled; the stubborn only to subdue.

A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades; These growing thoughts my mother soon perceiving, The way he came not having mark'd, return By words at times cast forth, inly rejoic'd, Was difficult, by human steps untrod; And said to me apart, •High are thy thoughts, And he still on was led, but with such thoughts 1)son, but nourish them, and let them soar Accompanied of things past and to come To what height sacred virtue and true worth Lodg'd in his breast, as well might recommend Can raise them, though above example high ; Such solitude before choicest society. By matchless deeds express thy matchless sire, Full forty days he pass’d, whether on hill For know, thou art no son of mortal man; Sometimes, anon on shady vale, each night Though men esteem thee low of parentage, Under the covert of some ancient oak, T! v father is the Eternal King who rules

Or cedar, to defend him from the dew, Heaven and Earth, angels and sons of men; Or harbor'd in one cave, is not reveal'd; A terzsenger from God foretold thy birth

Nor tasted human food, nor hunger felt

Till those days ended; hunger'd then at last That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
Among wild beasts : they at his sight grew mild, I undertook that office, and the tongues
Nor sleeping him nor waking harm’d; his walk Of all his flattering prophets glibbd with lies
The fiery serpent fled and noxious worm,

To his destruction, as I had in charge ;
The lion and fierce tiger glar'd aloof.

For what he bids I do. Though I have lost But now an aged man in rural weeds,

Much lustre of my native brightness, lost
Following, as seem'd, the quest of some stray ewe, To be belov'd of God, I have not lost
Or wither'd sticks to gather, which might serve To love, at least contemplate and admire,
Against a winter's day, when winds blow keen, What I see excellent in good, or fair,
To warm him wet return'd from field at eve, Or virtuous; I should so have lost all sense :
He saw approach, who first with curious eye What can then be less in me than desire
Perus'd him, then with words thus utter'd spake. To see thee and approach thee, whom I know
“Sir, what ill chance hath brought thee to this Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent

Thy wisdom, and behold thy godlike deeds?
So far from path or road of men, who pass Men generally think me much a foe
In troop or caravan? for single none

To all mankind : why should I ? they to me
Durst ever, who return’d, and dropt not here Never did wrong or violence; by them
His carcass, pin'd with hunger and with drought. I lost not what I lost, rather by them
I ask the rather, and the more admire,

I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell,
For that to me thou seem'st the Man, whom late Copartner in these regions of the world,
Our new baptizing prophet at the ford

If not disposer; lend them oft my aid,
Of Jordan honor'd so, and call'd thee Son

Oft my advice by presages and signs,
Of God: I saw and heard, for we sometimes And answers, oracles, portents, and dreams,
Who dwell this wil constrain'd by want, come Whereby they may direct their future life.

Envy they say excites me, thus to gain
To town or village nigh, (nighest is far,)

Companions of my misery and woe.
Where aught we hear, and curious are to hear, At first it may be ; but, long since with woe
What happens new; fame also finds us out.” Nearer acquainted, now I feel, by proof,
To whom the Son of God. “Who brought me That fellowship in pain divides not smart,

Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load.
Will bring me hence; no other guide I seek.” Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd :

By miracle he may,” replied the swain; This wounds me most, (what can it less !) that Man “What other way I see not; for we here Man fall’n shall be restor'd, I never more." Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd

To whom our Savior sternly thus replied. More than the camel, and to drink go far,

* Deservedly thou griev'st, compos'd of lies Men to much misery and hardship born:

From the beginning, and in lies wilt end ; But, if thou be the Son of God, command

Who boast'st release from Hell, and leave to come That out of these hard stones be made thee bread, Into the Heaven of Heavens : thou com’st indeed So shalt thou save thyself and us relieve

As a poor miserable captive thrall
With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste." Comes to the place where he before had sat

He ended, and the Son of God replied. Among the prime in splendor, now depos'd,
Think'st thou such force in bread? Is it not Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shunn'd,

A spectacle of ruin, or of scom, (For I discern thee other than thou seem'st) To all the host of Heaven : the happy place • Man lives not by bread only, but each word Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy, Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed Rather inflames thy torment: representing Our fathers here with manna ?' in the mount Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable, Moses was forty days, nor eat nor drank;

So never more in Hell than when in Heaven. And forty days Elijah, without food,

But thou art serviceable to Heaven's King. Wander'd this barren waste : the same I now: Wilt thou impute to obedience what thy fear Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust, Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ? Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art ?" What but thy malice moy'd thee to misdeem Whom thus answer'd the arch-fiend, now undis- of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him guis'a.

With all inflictions? but his patience won. “ 'Tis true I am that Spirit unfortunate,

The other service was thay chosen task, Who, leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt, To be a liar in four hundred mouths; Kept not my happy station, but was driven

For lying is thy sustenance, thy food. With them from bliss to the bottomless deep, Yet thou pretend'st to truth ; all oracles Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd

By thee are given, and what confess'd more true By rigor unconniving, but that oft,

Among the nations ? that hath been thy crafi, Leaving my dolorous prison, I enjoy

By mixing somewhat true to vent more lies. Large liberty to round this globe of earth,

But what have been thy answers, what but dark, Or range in the air ; nor from the Heaven of Ambiguous, and with double sense deluding, Heavens

Which they who ask'd have seldom understood, Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.

And not well understood as good not known? I came among the sons of God, when he

Who ever by consulting at thy shrine Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job

Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct, To prove him, and illustrate his high worth ; To fly or follow what concern'd him most, And, when to all his angels he propos'd

And run not sooner to his fatal snare? To draw the proud King Ahab into fraud

For God hath justly given the nations up

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To thy delusions; justly, since they fell

expression of which she recapitulates many cirIdolatrous: but, when his purpose is

cumstances respecting the birth and early life of Among them to declare his providence

her son.—Satan again meets his infernal council, To thee not known, whence hast thou then thy truth, reports the bad success of his first temptation of But from him, or his angels president

our blessed Lord, and calls upon them for counsel In every province, who, themselves disdaining and assistance. Belial proposes the tempting of To approach thy temples, give thee in command Jesus with women. Satan rebukes Belial for his What, to the smallest tittle, thou shalt say

dissoluteness, charging on him all the profligacy To thy adorers? Thou, with trembling fear,

of that kind ascribed by the poets to the heathen Or like a fawning parasite, obey'st :

gods, and rejects his proposal as in no respect Then to thyself ascrib'st the truth foretold.

likely to succeed. Satan then suggests other But this thy glory shall be soon retrench'd ;

modes of temptation, particularly proposing to No more shalt thou by oracling abuse

avail himself of the circumstance of our Lord's The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ceas'd,

hungering; and, taking a band of chosen spirits' And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice

with him, returns to resume his enterprise.—Jesus Shalt be inquir'd at Delphos, or elsewhere;

hungers in the desert.-Night comes on; the At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute. manner in which our Savior passes the night is God hath now sent his living oracle

described.—Morning advances.—Satan again apInto the world to teach his final will,

pears to Jesus, and, after expressing wonder that And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell he should be so entirely neglected in the wilderIn pious hearts, an inward oracle

ness, where others had been miraculously fed, To all truth requisite for men to know.”

tempts him with a sumptuous banquet of the So spake our Savior, but the subtle fiend,

most luxurious kind. This he rejects, and the Though inly stung with anger and disdain,

banquet vanishes.—Satan, finding our Lord not Dissembled, and this answer smooth return'd. to be assailed on the ground of appetite, tempts - Sharply thou hast insisted on rebuke,

him again by offering him riches, as the means of And urg'd me with hard doings, which not will acquiring power: this Jesus also rejects, produBut misery hath wrested from me. Where

cing many instances of great actions performed Easily canst thou find one miserable,

by persons under virtuous poverty, and specifying And not enforc'd oft-times to part from truth,

the danger of riches, and the cares and pains inIf it may stand him more in stead to lie,

separable from power and greatness.
Say and unsay, feign, flatter, or abjure ?
But thou art plac'd above me, thou art Lord; MEANWHILE the new-baptiz’d, who yet remain'd
From thee I can, and must submiss, endure, At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Check, or reproof, and glad to 'scape so quit.

Him whom they heard so late expressly callid
Hard are the ways of Truth, and rough to walk, Jesus Messiah, Son of God declar'd,
Sinooth on the tongue discours'd, pleasing to the ear, And on that high authority had believ'd,
And tunable as sylvan pipe or song;

And with him talk'd, and with him lodg'd; I mean What wonder then if I delight to hear

Andrew and Simon, famous after known,
Her dictates from thy mouth? Most men admire With others, though in Holy Writ not nam'd ;
Virtue, who follow not her lore: permit me

Now missing him, their joy so lately found,
To hear thee when I come, (since no man comes.)

(So lately found and so abruptly gone,) And talk at least, though I despair to attain. Began to doubt, and doubted many days, Thy Father, who is holy, wise, and pure,

And, as the days increas'd, increas'd their doubt. Suffers the hypocrite or atheous priest

Sometimes they thought he might be only shown, To tread his sacred courts, and minister

And for a time caught up to God, as onee About his altar, handling holy things,

Moses was in the mount and missing long, Praying or vowing; and vouchsaf'd his voice And the great Thisbite, who on fiery wheels To Balaam reprobate, a prophet yet

Rode up to Heaven, yet once again to come : Inspir’d: disdain not such access to me."

Therefore, as those young prophets then with care To whom our Savior, with unalter'd brow : Sought lost Elijah, so in each place these - Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope, Nigh to Bethabara ; in Jericho I bid not, or forbid : do as thou find'st

The city of palms, Enon, and Salem old, Permission from above; thou canst not more." Machurus, and each town or city wall'd He added not: and Satan, bowing low

On this side the broad lake Genezaret, His grey dissimulation, disappear'd

Or in Peræa; but return'd in vain. Into thin air diffus'd: for now began

Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek Night with her sullen wings to double-shade

Where winds with reeds and osiers whispering play, The desert; fowls in their clay-nests were couch'd; Plain fishermen, (no greater men them call,) And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam. Close in a cottage low together got,

Their unexpected loss and plaints outbreath'd.

“ Alas, from what high hope to what relapse

Unlook'd-for are we fall’n! our eyes beheld

Messiah certainly now come, so long

Expected of our fathers: we have heard

His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth;

Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand, The disciples of Jesus, uneasy at his long absence, The kingdom shall to Israel be restor'd ;

rearon amongst themselves concerning it. Mary Thus we rejoic'd, but soon our joy is turn'd also gives vent to her maternal anxiety: in the Into perplexity and new amaze :


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For whither is he gone, what accident

Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling : Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire The while her son, tracing the desert wild, After appearance, and again prolong

Sole, but with holiest meditations fed, Our expectation? God of Israel,

Into himself descended, and at once Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come;

All his great work to come before him set; Behold the kings of the Earth, how they oppress How to begin, how to accomplish best Thy chosen ; to what height their power unjust His end of being on Earth, and mission high: They have exalted, and behind them cast

For Satan, with sly preface to return, All fear of thee ; arise, and vindicate

Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone
Thy glory; free thy people from their yoke. Up to the middle region of thick air,
But let us wait; thus far he hath perform'd, Where all his potentates in council sat;
Sent his anointed, and to us reveal'd him,

There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy,
By his great prophet, pointed at and shown Solicitous and blank, he thus began.
In public, and with him we have convers'd;

" Princes, Heaven's ancient sons, ethereal thrones Let us be glad of this, and all our fears

Demonian spirits now, from the element Lay on his providence; he will not fail,

Each of his reign allotted, rightlier callid
Nor will withdraw him now, nor will recall, Powers of fire, air, water, and earth beneath,
Mock us with his blest sight, then snatch him hence; (So may we hold our place and these mild seats
Soon we shall see our hope, our joy, return." Without new trouble, such an enemy

Thus they, out of their plaints, new hope resume Is risen to invade us, who no less
To find whom at the first they found unsought: Threatens than our expulsion down to Hell ;
But, to his mother Mary, when she saw

I, as I undertook, and with the vote
Others return'd from baptism, not her son,

Consenting in full frequence was empower'd, Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none,

Have found him, view'd him, tasted him; but find Within her breast though calm, her breast though Far other labor to be undergone pure,

Than when I dealt with Adam, first of men, Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell, Some troubled thoughts, which she in sighs thus clad. However to this man inferior far;

“O, what avails me now that honor high If he be man by mother's side, at least To have conceiv'd of God, or that salute,

With more than human gifts from Heaven adom'd, · Hail highly favor'd among women blest ! Perfections absolute, graces divine, While I to sorrows am no less advanc'd,

And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds. And fears as eminent, above the lot

Therefore I am return'd, lest confidence of other women, by the birth I bore ;

of my success with Eve in Paradise In such a season born, when scarce a shed Deceive ye to persuasion over-sure Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me

Of like succeeding here : I summon all
From the bleak air; a stable was our warmth, Rather to be in readiness, with hand
A manger his ; yet soon enforc'd to fly,

Or counsel to assist ; lest I, who erst
Thence into Egypt, till the murderous king 'Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd."
Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fillid So spake the old serpent, doubting; and from all
With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem ; With clamor was assured their utmost aid
From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth

At his command: when from amidst them rose Hath been our dwelling many years; his life Belial, the dissolutest spirit that fell, Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,

The sensualest, and, after Asmodai, Little suspicious to any king; but now

The fleshliest incubus; and thus advis'd. Full grown to man, acknowledg'd, as I hear,

"Set women in his eye, and in his walk, By John the Baptist, and in public shown,

Among daughters of men the fairest found:
Son own'd from Heaven by his Father's voice, Many are in each region passing fair
I look'd for some great change; to honor? no, As the noon sky: more like to goddesses
But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,

Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet, That to the fall and rising he should be

Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues
Of many in Israël, and to a sign

Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild
Spoken against, that through my very soul And sweet allay'd, yet terrible to approach,
A sword shall pierce: this is my favor'd lot, Skill'd to retire, and, in retiring, draw
My exaltation to afflictions high;

Hearts after them, tangled in amorous nets.
Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest ;

Such object hath the power to soften and tame I will not argue that, nor will repine.

Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow
But where delays he now ? some great intent Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve,
Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had seen, Draw out with credulous desire, and lead
I lost him, but so found, as well I saw

At will the manliest, resolutest breast,
He could not lose himself, but went about

As the magnetic hardest iron draws. His Father's business; what he meant I mus'd, Women, when nothing else, beguild the heart Since understand ; much more his absence now Of wisest Solomon, and made him build, Thus long to some great purpose he obscures. And made him bow, to the gods of his wives." But I to wait with patience am inur'd;

To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd. My heart hath been a store-house long of things “ Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st And sayings laid up, portending strange events. All others by thyself; because of old

Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind Thou thyself doat’dst on woman-kind, admiring Recalling what remarkably had pass'd

Their shape, their color, and attractive grace, Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts None are, thou think'st, but taken with such toys.

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Before the flood thou with

thy lusty crew, Nor tasted, nor had appetite; that fast
False titled sons of God, roaming the Earth, To virtue I impute not, or count part
Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men, Of what I suffer here; if nature need not,
And coupled with them, and begot a race. Or God support nature without repast
Have we not seen, or by relation heard,

Though needing, what praise is it to endure ?
In courts and regal chambers how thou lurk'st, But now I feel I hunger, which declares
In wood or grove, by mossy fountain side, Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God
In valley or green meadow, to waylay

Can satisfy that need some other way,
Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene,

Though hunger still remain : so it remain Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa,

Without this body's wasting, I content me, Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more

And from the sting of famine fear no harm ; Too long, then lay'st thy scapes on names ador'd, Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts, that feed Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan,

Me hungering more to do my Father's will.” Satyr, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts It was the hour of night, when thus the Son Delight not all; among the sons of men,

Commun'd in silent walk, then laid him down How many have with a smile made small account Under the hospitable covert nigh of Beauty and her lures, easily scorn'd

Of trees thick interwoven; there he slept, All her assaults, on worthier things intent! And dream'd, as appetite is wont to dream, Remember that Pellean conqueror,

Of meats and drinks, nature's refreshment sweet : A youth, how all the beauties of the East Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood, He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass'd ; And saw the ravens with their horny beaks How he, surnam'd of Africa, dismiss'd,

Food to Elijah bringing, even and morn, [brought : In his prime youth, the fair Iberian maid.

Though ravenous, taught to abstain from what they For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full

He saw the prophet also, how he fled Of honor, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond Into the desert, and how there he slept Higher design than to enjoy his state ;

Under a juniper ; then how awak'd Thence to the bait of women lay expos'd:

He found his supper on the coals prepard, But he, whom we attempt, is wiser far

And by the angel was bid rise and eat, Than Solomon, of more exalted mind,

And eat the second time after repose,
Made and set wholly on the accomplishment The strength whereof suffic'd him forty days :
Of greatest things. What woman will you find, Sometimes that with Elijah he partook,
Though of this age the wonder and the fame, Or as a guest with Daniel at his pulse.
On whom his leisure will vouchsafe an eye Thus wore out night; and now the herald lark
Of fond desire? Or should she, confident, Left his ground-nest, high towering to desery
As sitting queen ador'd on Beauty's throne, The Morn's approach, and greet her with his song :
Descend with all her winning charms begirt As lightly from his grassy couch up rose
To enamour, as the zone of Venus once

Our Savior, and found all was but a dream;
Wrought that effect on Jove, so fables tell; Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting wak’d.
How would one look from his majestic brow, Up to a hill anon his steps he rear'd,
Seated as on the top of Virtue's hill,

From whose high top to ken the prospect round,
Discountenance her despis'd, and put to rout If cottage were in view, sheep-cote, or heru;
All her array; her female pride deject,

But cottage, herd, or sheep-cote, none he saw ;
Or turn to reverent awe! for Beauty stands Only in a bottom saw a pleasant grove,
In the admiration only of weak minds

With chant of tuneful birds resounding loud :
Led captive; cease to admire, and all her plumes Thither he bent his way, determin'd there
Fall fai, and shrink into a trivial toy,

To rest at noon, and enter'd soon the shade
At every sudden slighting quite abash'd.

High-roof'd, and walks beneath, and alleys brown, Therefore with manlier objects we must try That opened in the midst a woody scene; His constancy; with such as have more show Nature's own work it seem'd (Nature taught Art) Of worth, of honor, glory, and popular praise, And, to a superstitious eye, the haunt Rocks, whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd; Of wood-gods and wood-nymphs: he view'd it round, Or that which only seems to satisfy

When suddenly a man before him stood ; Lawful desires of nature, not beyond ;

Not rustic as before, but seemlier clad, And now I know he hungers, where no food As one in city, or court, or palace bred, Is to be found, in the wide wilderness :

And with fair speech these words to him address'd. 'The rest commit to me; I shall let pass

“ With granted leave officious I return,
No advantage, and his strength as oft assay." But much more wonder that the Son of God

He ceas'd, and heard their grant in loud acclaim; In this wild solitude so long should bide,
Then forth with to him takes a chosen band Of all things destitute ; and, well I know
Of spirits, likest to himself in guile,

Not without hunger. Others of some note,
To be at hand, and at his beck appear,

As story tells, have trod this wilderness ;
If cause were to unfold some active scene

The fugitive bond-woman, with her son
Of various persons, each to know his part: Outcast Nebaioth, yet found here relief
Then to the desert takes with these his flight; By a providing angel ; all the race
Where, still from shade to shade, the Son of God Of Israel here had famish'd, had not God
After forty days' fasting had remain'd,

Rain'd from Heaven manna; and that prophet bold, Now hungering first, and to himself thus said. Native of Thebez, wandering here was fed * Where will this end? four times ten days I've Twice by a voice inviting him to eat : pass'd

Of thee ihese forty days none hath regard, Wandering this woody maze, and human food Forty and more deserted here indeed."

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