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But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
95 Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce
had seen, I lost 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
Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
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 while her son tracing the desert wild, Sole but with holiest meditations fed,
Into himself descended, and at once
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
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,
If he be man by mother's fide at least,
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
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 Satan thus return'd. Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st All others by thyself; because of old Thou thyself doat'd ft on womankind, admi
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, False titled sons 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 mosly 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 Écorn'd All her all'aults, 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 sitting queen ador’d on beauty's throne, Defcend with all her winning charms begirt T' enamour, as the zone of Venus once