« ZurückWeiter »
Till those days ended; hunger'd then at last That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
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
Thy wisdom, and behold thy godlike deeds?
To all mankind: why should I ? they to me
I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell,
If not disposer; lend them oft my aid,
Oft my advice by presages and signs,
Envy they say excites me, thus to gain
Companions of my misery and woe.
Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load.
“ 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 Ilell, and leave to come
As a poor miserable captive thrall
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, written,
A spectacle of ruin, or of scorn, (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 mov'd thee to misdeem Whom thus answer'd the arch-fiend, now undis- of righteous Job, then cruelly 10 afflict him guis'd.
With all inflictions ? but his patience won. “ "Tis true I am that Spirit unfortunate,
The other service was thy 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 craft, 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
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 tho 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 call'd Hard are the ways of Truth, and rough to walk,
Jesus Messiah, Son of God declar'd, Smooth 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 once A bout 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 did not, or forbid : do as thou find'st
The city of palms, Enon, and Salem old, Permission from above; thou canst not more." Macherus, and each town or city wallid 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,
reason amongst themselves concerning it. Mary Thus we rejoic'd, but soon our joy is turn'd
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
Thus they, out of their plaints, new hope resume Is risen to invade us, who no less
I, as I undertook, and with the vote
Consenting in full frequence was empowerd, Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none,
Have found him, view'd him, tasied 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 adorn'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
Of like succeeding here : I summon all
Or counsel to assist; lest I, who erst
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 fleshliesi incubus; and thus advisd.
“ Set women in his eye, and in his walk,
Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet,
Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues of many in Israël, and to a sign
Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild
Hearts after them, tangled in amorous nets.
Such object hath the power to soften and tame I will not argue that, nor will repine.
Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow
At will the manliest, resolutest breast,
To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd. My heart hath been a siore-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
Before the flood thou with thy lusty crew,
Nor tasted, nor had appetite ; that fast
Though needing, what praise is it to endure ?
Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God
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, distniss'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 descry
Our Savior, and found all was but a dream;
From whose high top to ken the prospect round,
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 flat, 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 these forly days none hath regard, Wandering this woody maze, and human food Forty and more deserted here indeed.”
To whom thus Jesus. “ What conclud'st thou Array'd in glory on my cup to attend : hence?
Why shouldst thou then obtrude this diligence, They all had need; I, as thou seest, have none." In vain, where no acceptance it can find !
" How hast thou hunger then !" Satan replied. And with my hunger what hast thou to do? « Tell me, if food was now before thee set, Thy pompous delicacies I contemn, Wouldst thou not eat?"-" Thereafter as I like And count thy specious gifts no gifts, but guiles." The giver,” answer'd Jesus. “Why should that To whom thus answer'd Satan malcontent. Cause thy refusal ?" said the subtle fiend.
" That I have also power to give, thou seest ; Hast thou not right to all created things? If of that power I bring thee voluntary Owe not all creatures by just right to thee What I might have bestow'd on whom I pleas'd, Duty and service, nor to stay till bid,
And rather opportunely in this place But tender all their power? Nor mention I Chose to impart to thy apparent need, Meats by the law unclean, or offer'd first
Why shouldst thou not accept it? but I see To idols, those young Daniel could resuse ;
What I can do or offer is suspect : Nor proffer'd by an enemy, though who
Of these things others quickly will dispose, Would scruple that, with want oppressid ? Behold, Whose pains have earn'd the far-fet spoil.” With that Nature asham'd, or, better to express,
Both table and provision vanish'd quite, Troubled, that thou shouldst hunger, hath purvey'd With sound of harpies' wings and talons heard : From all the elements her choicest store,
Only the importune tempter still remaind, To treat thee, as beseems, and as her Lord, And with these words his temptation pursued. With honor: only deign to sit and eat."
“By hunger, that each other creature tames, He spake no dream ; for, as his words had end, Thou art not 10 be harm’d, therefore not mord; Our Savior lifting up his eyes beheld,
Thy temperance invincible besides, In ample space under the broadest shade,
For no allurement yields to appetite ; A table richly spread, in regal mode,
And all thy heart is set on high designs, With dishes pil'd, and meats of noblest sort High actions : but wherewith to be achiev'd ! And savor; beasts of chase, or fowl of game, Great acts require great means of enterprise ; In pastry built, or from the spit, or boild,
Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of birth, Gris-amber-steam'd; all fish, from sea or shore, A carpenter thy father known, thyself Freshet or purling brook, of shell or fin,
Bred up in poverty and straits at home, And exquisitest name, for which was drain'd Lost in a desert here and hunger-bit: Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast.
Which way, or from what hope, dost thou aspire (Alas, how simply, to these cates compar'd, To greatness ? whence authority deriv'st? Was that crude apple that diverted Eve!)
What followers, what retinue canst thou gain, And at a stately sideboard, by the wine
Or at thy heels the dizzy multitude,
What rais'd Antipater the Edomite,
Thy throne, but gold that got him puissant friends? With fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn, Therefore, if at great things thou wouldst arrive, And ladies of the Hesperides, that seem'd
Get riches first, get wealth, and treasure heap, Fairer than feign'd of old, or fabled since
Not difficult, if thou hearken to me: Of fairy damsels, met in forest wide
Riches are mine, fortune is in my hand; By knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
They whom I favor thrive in wealth amain,
While virtue, valor, wisdom, sit in want."
To gain dominion, or to keep it gain’d.
But men indued with these have oft attain'd
That seat, and reign in Israel without end.
Among the heathen, (for throughout the world All these are spirits of air, and woods, and springs, To me is not unknown what hath been done Thy gentle ministers, who come to pay
Worthy of memorial,) canst thou not remember Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord : Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus ? What doubt'st thou, Son of God! Sit down and eat." For I esteem those names of men so poor,
To whom thus Jesus temperately replied. Who could do mighty things, and could contemn “Said'st thou not that to all things I had right? Riches, though offer'd from the hand of kings. And who withholds my power that right to use ? And what in me seems wanting, but that I Shall I receive by gift what of my own,
May also in this poverty as soon When and where likes me best, I can command ? Accomplish what they did, perhaps, and more? I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou,
Extol not riches then, the toil of fools, Command a table in this wilderness,
The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare; more apo And call swift flights of angels ministrant
To slacken Virtue, and abate her edge,